The Political Economy of Morocco

By I. William Zartman | Go to book overview

4
RELIGION IN POLITY AND SOCIETY

DALE F. EICKELMAN

Since the 1970s, Morocco has faced an increasingly dismal conjuncture of economic and political factors. Two, or possibly three, attempted coups, the protracted Saharan conflict, a doubling of the population since 1960, droughts, the continued decline of "traditional" agriculture, rapid urban growth, and a deteriorating domestic and international economic climate have accelerated pressures for change. Since 1961, Hassan II has maintained an apparent stability by braking and channeling the country's social and economic evolution, sustaining the privileges of an existing elite rather than risk losing control (Leveau 1985, p. 277).

Some observers argue that these accumulated pressures will force far-reaching economic and political changes upon Morocco's political leadership, including a commitment to social and economic justice stronger than the present implicit policy of enriching the poor without impoverishing the rich. Yet now as in the past, Hassan II has demonstrated a skill in shaping events, or at least perceptions of them, rather than becoming their victim.

Far from destabilizing the Moroccan polity in the short term, it can be argued that the succession of crises in recent years has bought time for the Makhzen (the traditional term by which the Moroccan government, especially the monarch and his close collaborators, continues to be known), deflecting attention away from demands for basic reforms. In the 1960s and early 1970s, government slogans emphasized technocratic achievements and sought to co-opt the language of the political left. In a slogan parallel to that used by the late shah, Moroccans

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The Political Economy of Morocco
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Abbreviations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - King Hassan's New Morocco 1
  • Notes 33
  • 2 - Makhzen Traditions and Administrative Channels 34
  • Notes 56
  • 3 - Political Parties and Power-Sharing 59
  • Notes 82
  • 4 - Religion in Polity and Society 84
  • Notes 96
  • 5 - Attitudes, Values, and the Political Process in Morocco 98
  • Notes 116
  • 6 - The Interface Between Family and State 117
  • Note 140
  • 7 - Recent Economic Trends: Managing the Indebtedness 141
  • Note 158
  • 8 - Morocco's Agricultural Crisis 159
  • 9 - Morocco's International Economic Relations 173
  • Notes 185
  • 10 - The Impact of the Saharan Dispute on Moroccan Foreign and Domestic Policy 188
  • 11 - Image and Reality in Moroccan Political Economy 212
  • References 243
  • Index 257
  • About the Contributors 263
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