Title Moroccan foreign policy after the Arab Spring: a turn for the Islamists or persistence of royal leadership?
External publication No
Means J. North Afr. Stud.
Scope Article
Nature Científica
SJR Quartile 2
Area International
Web https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85044481516&doi=10.1080%2f13629387.2018.1454652&partnerID=40&md5=58e9b40c43a606039e24dd9f86e31270
Publication date 01/01/2019
ISI 000469999600006
Scopus Id 2-s2.0-85044481516
DOI 10.1080/13629387.2018.1454652
Abstract This article explores the power balance between the Moroccan monarchy and the Islamist Party of Justice and Development (PJD) particularly within the field of Foreign Policy, in order to determine the extent to which the foreign policy decision-making process has changed since the 2011 constitutional reforms. More specifically, it investigates how the limited duality between the king and the government works in practice, beyond the legal text. Our contention is that both the revisited architecture as well as the implementation of the 2011 Constitution minimise the agency of the government and preserve the preponderance of the king and his entourage in matters of foreign policy. We examine this dynamic through a two-step analysis which, first, determines the patterns of Morocco's foreign policy with regards to its traditional allies in Europe and the Gulf and its growing relationship with non-traditional partners like China and, second, investigates whether these patterns apply to the kingdom's most recent foreign policy decisions in 2016 and 2017. We do this by undertaking an in-depth analysis of the kingdom's rapidly-changing relationship with Africa and Russia. This analysis allows us to closely examine and shed light on the main strategies of Morocco's foreign policy in a turbulent regional and international context; the central role of the king and the ambiguous decision-making process; and the relevance of new actors (technocratic and economic elites) and novel tools (economic and cultural diplomacies).
Keywords Morocco; foreign policy; monarchy; balance of power; Islamists; Arab Spring; South-South cooperation; African Union; Morocco-Russia relations
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