Challenges to Tradition and Modernity

By James N. Sater

© 2010 – Routledge

192 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415457095
pub: 2009-11-25
US Dollars$49.95
Hardback: 9780415457088
pub: 2009-11-25
US Dollars$150.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

For many contemporary observers and analysts, Morocco remains a mystery. So close to Europe, Morocco simultaneously represents a similarly open political culture and its complete antithesis: Human rights associations openly challenge authoritarian rule, while an emphasis on Moroccan singularity and authenticity prevents the establishment of a real democracy. Widespread poverty and illiteracy co-exist with a flourishing entrepreneurial class and the display of conspicuous wealth in its cities; electoral institutions and political parties pay allegiance to a traditional monarch; disgruntled youth and inhabitants of shantytowns are receptive to the rhetoric of Islamic inspired violence and terror.

This book provides an introductory overview of contemporary politics and international relations in Morocco, and gives an up to date assessment of the economy and recent history. Drawing on key academic texts, the author provides a detailed analysis of Morocco, focusing on issues such as:

  • Morocco’s role within the region
  • trade policies with Europe
  • Morocco’s Western Sahara policy
  • ways of dealing with Political Islam
  • the extent to which European influence has affected Moroccan society.

Easily accessible to non-specialists, practitioners, and upper level undergraduate students, the book will be essential reading for those working in the fields of Comparative Politics, International Relations and Middle East Studies.


"Sater gives the reader a good introduction to Moroccan politics and society, touching upon issues such as the historical context, cultural heritage, religion, the economy, the political system and foreign policy… from the viewpoint of undergraduate students or those with an interest in the Middle East, who simply want to know more about the country, the book is a great find." - Lise Storm (2012): Understanding Moroccan Politics: Tools for Assessing the Impact of the Arab Spring, Mediterranean Politics, 17:1

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Combining Modern with Traditional State Structures 3. The Politics of Exclusion and Inclusion 4. The Challenge of Economic Development 5. State Legitimacy and Foreign Policy 6. Conclusion

About the Author

James N. Sater is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the International Studies Department of the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. He spent more than four years in Morocco where he worked and taught at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. He is the author of Civil Society and Political Change in Morocco (Routledge, 2007) and his research focuses on political change, elections, and authoritarianism in Morocco.

About the Series

The Contemporary Middle East

The Contemporary Middle East Series provides the first systematic attempt at studying the key actors of the dynamic, complex and strategically important MENA region, employing an innovative common format which in each case study provides an easily-digestible analysis of the origins of the state, its contemporary politics, economics and international relations.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / Economics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Economic Policy
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies