A Comparative Political Economy of Tunisia and Morocco: On by Gregory White

By Gregory White

Examines how emerging fiscal integration with Europe affects Tunisia and Morocco.

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23 This is not to say that the embrace of socialism was inauthentic. To the contrary, Tunisian elites and intellectuals saw Destourian socialism, Bourguibisme, as a suitable ideological and economic vehicle for development. Nonetheless, the fundamental secular and pro-Western orientation of this elite goes far to explain Tunisia’s infitah strategy. Faced with a failure of state-led growth in the small economy and society-wide discontent with the agricultural cooperativization efforts in the 1960s—and seeking to exploit the new window of opportunity presented by the 1969 Association Accords with the EU— Bourguiba, Nouira, and economic liberals within the PSD pursued the change to an export-oriented economy in the early 1970s.

To employ Evans’s language, a strong Makhzen might be less embedded in society, more isolated than autonomous. Economy A country’s factor endowment—that is, natural resources, land mass, arable land, climate, population, and human resources—goes far to provide the conditions for the state in its effort to fashion a development strategy. Despite the shortcomings of classical theories of comparative advantage, it would be absurd to deny that a country could, somehow, disregard its inheritance and pursue economic policies that ignore its situation in the world economy.

Consequently, rural elites came to have an intermediary position between the state and the peasantry. ”27 Urban elites, by contrast, are diverse and varied, with significant elements forming key support for the monarchy, while others seek reform. A third group is the religious leadership, many of whom have historically supported the monarch as a legitimate descendant of the prophet Mohammed and, therefore, the “Commander of the Faithful,” or Amir al-Mu’minin. Elements within the religious leadership, however, have become most critical of Hassan in recent decades, charging him with inadequate religious leadership and capitulation to Western interests.

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