The Political Economy of Morocco

By I. William Zartman | Go to book overview

Continued market access is obviously necessary if a manufactured export expansion strategy is to succeed. Past experience provides mixed clues with respect to the EEC market; the principle of "safeguards" for declining EEC industries has been established even for preferential trading partners, but the EEC wants to retain these partners' privileged position. This suggests a concrete form for Moroccan requests to be compensated by the EEC for the negative impact of the second enlargement on Moroccan agricultural exports. The EEC is in the difficult position of wishing to be a donor but having no gifts it is willing to part with. If Morocco concentrated its requests on guaranteed market access for manufactured exports, the EEC may find that loose "safety measures" for export restraints are the least difficult way of mollifying it.

By the mid- 1980s Moroccan policy options were all less attractive than a decade earlier. It could, of course, try to join the EEC, as it did in late 1985, but was turned down. In the longer term, domestic production of energy and cereals present the best prospects of reducing its import needs. In the shorter term, the only prospect for closing the trade gap is domestic austerity accompanied by manufactured export expansion -- the more successful the latter, the less need for austerity. 14 The environment for manufactured exports is less favorable than in the 1960s and 1970s, depending on the uncertain future of protectionism in the major markets, although Morocco can hope to use its privileged relationship with the EEC to reduce the market constraint. An even more fundamental problem is whether such changes in development strategy will be politically acceptable to the domestic groups who have sustained the past strategy. A new strategy will not only hurt large landholders and urban dwellers in ways already described, but more generally the opening of the economy to the freer play of market forces will inevitably put pressure on the "traditional" social and political system that has been essentially unchanged since independence. Morocco's future economic prospects depend crucially on how these domestic conflicts are resolved.


NOTES
1.
The EEC's Mediterranean policy is described in Tovias ( 1977) and Pomfret ( 1986). Data on EEC financial aid to Mediterranean countries for 1977 to 1981 is given by Taylor ( 1980, p. 36); Morocco ranked second behind Egypt.
2.
Pasca ( 1978) has tried to assess the net impact of preferences and the CAP on nonmembers, but he studied only Greece, Spain, and Portugal (and France and Italy). These three nonmembers were on the whole successful in avoiding net negative effects, although Pasca suggests that North African countries may not have fared so well; for example, Italy made large inroads into the French

-185-

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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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