Politics in Morocco: Executive Monarchy and Enlightened Authoritarianism, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Politics in Morocco

Executive Monarchy and Enlightened Authoritarianism, 1st Edition

By Anouar Boukhars


216 pages

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Democratization and the process of political reform is a critical issue in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa. This book looks at the situation in Morocco and examines the role of the monarchy and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Islamic and secular/liberal groupings campaigning to shape the local politics and society. 

Politics in Morocco moves beyond the theoretical framework of the transition paradigm to give a thorough analysis of the dynamics of monarchical authoritarian rule and its implications. The author explores the formal and informal working mechanisms of authoritarian rule, the roles and functions of secular opposition forces, and the dynamics of political inclusion of Islamists in the structures of formal contestation. In doing so, he sheds fresh light on how authoritarian rule under King Mohamed VI is maintained and legitimised by a wide array of formal and informal political and social networks.

This in-depth investigation of political participation in Morocco offers a new perspective on the issue of democracy and monarchical rule in the Middle East. As such, it will be of great interest to students and scholars of Middle Eastern and North African politics, democratization studies and political Islam.


"The book is wonderfully written and well researched." - Steve Yetiv, Old Dominion University

"As an observer of Moroccan politics, I think this is a strong book. It is a joy to read. It is clearly organized. The argument flows nicely. It is well documented. And it speaks to important political problems and dilemmas that go beyond the Moroccan context. I also find the general argument very compelling." - Abdeslam Maghraoui, Duke University.

"The chapter on Islamism is very interesting and illuminating." - Malika Zeghal, University of Chicago

"[A]cademic in style, appealing mainly to an audience of postgraduate students as well as academics and practitioners working on Moroccan politics… Boukhars’ analysis is comprehensive and insightful. The book is well-researched and excellently presented, and provides the readers with all the necessary tools for comprehending Moroccan politics both before and after the eruption of the Arab Spring and the political changes it brought to the country." - Lise Storm (2012): Understanding Moroccan Politics: Tools for Assessing the Impact of the Arab Spring, Mediterranean Politics, 17:1

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Mohamedian Years 2. The Monarchy’s Arsenal of Powers 3. Politics without Positions: Absenteeism, Party Switching and Corruption in the Moroccan Parliament 4. The Decrepitude of Secular Parties: The Case of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces 5. Islamists and Realpolitik 6. Radical Islamism: A Form of Contestation Politics. Conclusion

About the Author

Anouar Boukhars is an assistant professor of Political Science and International Studies at McDaniel College, Maryland, USA. He is also a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center and consultant for Jane’s Intelligence Review. He has published in a large number of journals and has contributed to leading newspapers in the US and the Middle East.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics

This series is concerned with recent political developments in the region. It will have a range of different approaches and include both single authored monographs and edited volumes covering issues such as international relations, foreign intervention, security, political Islam, democracy, ideology and public policy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies