Since the mid-1990s, Morocco has sought to present itself as a model of genuine and gradual reform, with decentralisation as a key tenet of this. Here, Sylvia I. Bergh investigates the dynamics of popular participation and local governance, testing the extent to which the current structure builds local capacity, or whether it is, in fact, a tool for 'soft' state control. She narrates the realities of local administration and civil society to shed critical light on questions of democratic transition in North Africa. Her assessment of decentralisation and participatory development projects in rural Morocco, and the legal and policy frameworks in which they operate, concludes that they have generally not yet led to an expansion of a civil society able to build local capacity or enhance bottom-up empowerment. Grounded in an approach of the 'anthropology of policy', this book makes an important contribution to the literature on democratisation, development and governance in North Africa.
About the Author
Sylvia I. Bergh is Senior Lecturer in Development Management and Governance at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, Rotterdam.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
List of Abbreviations xiii
Glossary of Arabic and French Terms xix
1 Development Synergies 24
2 State-Society Relations and Popular Participation in Morocco 39
3 Local Government Administrative Capacity: Evidence from Two Rural Communes 87
4 Local Government Fiscal Autonomy and Political Participation: Evidence from Two Rural Communes 129
5 The Capacity of Local Associations 165
6 Local Governments and Village Associations: Limited Embeddedness and Political Instrumentalization 204
Appendix A List of Interviews 238
Appendix B Primary Sources 254