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The micropolitics of reform: gender quota, grassroots associations and the renewal of local elites in Morocco


Berriane, Yasmine (2015). The micropolitics of reform: gender quota, grassroots associations and the renewal of local elites in Morocco. The Journal of North African Studies, 20(3):432-449.

Abstract

The aim of this article is to contribute to the unpacking of hybrid regimes such as Morocco, showing some of the micro-mechanisms and power dynamics that shape and organise them. To illustrate these processes, the article looks beyond approaches that dismiss the electoral process in authoritarian and hybrid regimes as a mere façade. Instead, attention is paid to the politics of the elections themselves. Through ethnographic material collected in suburban neighbourhoods of Casablanca before, during and after the electoral campaign of three female political candidates in Morocco's municipal and communal elections of 2009, two interconnected power relations are analysed: gender relations and representations, and the relationship between local associations and the partisan political sphere. This study shows that a number of recent reforms have contributed to the pluralisation of the political sphere in Morocco, opening up new channels through which outsiders such as women and, more generally, individuals with little political experience and capital have been able to enter the political sphere. The article also sheds light, however, on the direct and indirect ways in which this process of inclusion goes hand in hand with the reproduction of norms, representations and control mechanisms that reinforce former power hierarchies.

Abstract

The aim of this article is to contribute to the unpacking of hybrid regimes such as Morocco, showing some of the micro-mechanisms and power dynamics that shape and organise them. To illustrate these processes, the article looks beyond approaches that dismiss the electoral process in authoritarian and hybrid regimes as a mere façade. Instead, attention is paid to the politics of the elections themselves. Through ethnographic material collected in suburban neighbourhoods of Casablanca before, during and after the electoral campaign of three female political candidates in Morocco's municipal and communal elections of 2009, two interconnected power relations are analysed: gender relations and representations, and the relationship between local associations and the partisan political sphere. This study shows that a number of recent reforms have contributed to the pluralisation of the political sphere in Morocco, opening up new channels through which outsiders such as women and, more generally, individuals with little political experience and capital have been able to enter the political sphere. The article also sheds light, however, on the direct and indirect ways in which this process of inclusion goes hand in hand with the reproduction of norms, representations and control mechanisms that reinforce former power hierarchies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:08 University Research Priority Programs > Asia and Europe
Dewey Decimal Classification:950 History of Asia
180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:15 Oct 2015 14:25
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:27
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:1362-9387
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2015.1017815

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