A forum devoted to current political, economic trends, and news of the Maghreb region.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Moroccan Monarchy and the Islamist Challenge

Shameless self-promotion. My book on the Moroccan monarchy is out. As am I as an anonymous blogger. The following is an online interview on the book I did for Jaddaliya.

The book provides a new approach to the study of the prevalence of authoritarianism in the MENA. It re-introduces socio-institutional variables into this debate without resorting to essentialist macro-claims; rather, it focuses on the micro-dynamics of symbolic power. The book provides an alternative way to conceptualize political legitimacy and power in the Middle East. It argues that the monarchy’s religious authority and its use of rituals of power limit the ability of Islamist and non-Islamist opposition groups to contest the monarchy’s legitimacy. This study goes beyond most institutionalist accounts of authoritarian persistence by exploring the micro-dynamics of symbolic power and the extent to which the regime uses rituals of power to create a political culture conducive to the monarchy’s supremacy in the socio-political realm, thus promoting regime stability in Morocco.

These rituals have been institutionalized in the political system and have become part of the political discourse in Morocco. The study examines the effects of the ritualization of the political process on oppositional—especially Islamist—forces. The book argues that the monarchy’s religious authority and its use of rituals of power impede the ability of Islamist and other opposition groups to mobilize and to penetrate Moroccan society. The prevalence of this cultural and social hegemony contributes to the stability and resilience of the monarchical authoritarian regime in Morocco.

1 comment:

Al-Majalla Admin said...

Paving the Way: Will constitutional reform in Morocco herald gender equality?

The 1 July 2011 referendum for a constitutional reform will be remembered as a historical event for women in Morocco. Equality between men and women as well the guarantee of the respect of women’s fundamental civil and political rights have become an integral part of the Moroccan constitution.

Read it in full: http://www.majalla.com/eng/2011/10/article55226645