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"Smartness" without vision: the Moroccan regime in the face of acquiescent elites and weak social mobilization


Zerhouni, Saloua

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Corporate Editor Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik -SWP- Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit
Abstract In contrast to other North African and Middle Eastern rulers, the Moroccan monarchy has been able to maintain and stabilize its reign in the face of popular protest. In response to demonstrations by the 20 February Movement (M20) in early 2011, King Mohammed VI announced the reform of the constitution and the establishment of a parliamentary monarchy. In addition, the regime has successfully bought off opposi-tion by appropriating the main reform demands and by bringing in figures from the former opposition Justice and Development Party (Parti de la justice et du développement, PJD) to lead the government. But although the regime was able to absorb social unrest and to pull the rug from underneath the M20, protests and discontent have continued in Morocco, as major issues such as fighting corruption, establishing social justice and dealing with youth unemployment have not been addressed. Thus, although the moves of the monarchy have earned it the label of being “politically smart” and Morocco being “exceptional,” the country is far from immune to the unrest that has rocked neighboring countries. Europeans should therefore support a peaceful path of more substantial reforms to avoid regression and potentially violent escalations. (Autorenreferat)
Keywords Morocco; domestic policy; constitutional monarchy; party; political change; political stability; political development; protest movement; opposition; political reform; reform policy; political elite; constitutional amendment
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords Parti de la Justice et du Développement
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
City Berlin
Page/Pages 8 p.
Series SWP Comments, 11/2014
ISSN 1861-1761
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications