Chapter 11: The 2011 uprisings, power structures, and reforms in Morocco
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This chapter examines the regime logic and the incumbent political party’s governing practices (Party for Justice and Development) and what they meant for policy formulation and making after the 2011 uprisings in Morocco. During the protests that swept across the country in 2011, a new political consciousness rose advocating for the importance of democratic reforms, social justice and freedom. Under pressure, the King announced a new constitution that sought to grant the parliament more power and the judiciary more independence. Yet, the new constitution has also sought to preserve the King’s political and religious prerogatives, and to protect his executive powers over strategic issues. However, soon after the elections, the regime started showing signs of unwillingness to give up some of its prerogatives. The political elite was then faced with two choices: either to choose not to pursue democratic reforms, maintain the King’s consent and probably remain in power, or to challenge the regime by initiating reforms that would limit its power, grant political institutions more independence and therefore lose the King’s consent; this would mean an existential risk for any political party to survive. This chapter argues that the regime logic of preserving its prerogatives impeded policy reformulation, and the political elite was reluctant to pursue political reforms to maintain power. Hence the 2011 uprisings, which once sparked hope of reforms, failed to change the old political structure and the regime.

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