Liberalization without Democracy: The Role of External Factors in the Stability of Moroccan Authoritarianism

This study monitors the role of external factors in the stability of Moroccan authoritarianism and controling the liberalization methods pursued by the government over two stages: the final years of the Cold War and the 2011 Arab Spring. As much as these factors contributed to widening the margin of liberalization in the Moroccan political arena, they also contributed to limiting this liberalization (September 11, the post-2013 counterrevolutionary movement), especially given the lack of internal will to mature it. While it is true that these factors have made an impact, this remained within certain limits that allowed actors abroad (the United States, the European Union and donor institutions) to control the transformations of Moroccan politics and to manage contradictions, thus creating an environment hostile to democratic transition in Morocco.

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Abstract

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This study monitors the role of external factors in the stability of Moroccan authoritarianism and controling the liberalization methods pursued by the government over two stages: the final years of the Cold War and the 2011 Arab Spring. As much as these factors contributed to widening the margin of liberalization in the Moroccan political arena, they also contributed to limiting this liberalization (September 11, the post-2013 counterrevolutionary movement), especially given the lack of internal will to mature it. While it is true that these factors have made an impact, this remained within certain limits that allowed actors abroad (the United States, the European Union and donor institutions) to control the transformations of Moroccan politics and to manage contradictions, thus creating an environment hostile to democratic transition in Morocco.

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