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

By Gregory White

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

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After 1973, high world phosphate prices generated tremendous profits. Phosphates, however, were not the only item under the palace’s control. 16 The explosion in world phosphate prices provided the means to continue the expansion of the public sector, thereby providing employment in the civil service, public sector, and military. Spain’s decision in 1974 to relinquish control of the western Sahara presented Hassan with additional opportunities to bolster state authority. The “Green March,” or Masira, into the western Sahara in November 1975 was Hassan’s attempt to mark Morocco’s claim to a territory rich in natural resources.

In addition, the Omnium Nord Africain (ONA), Morocco’s largest private conglomerate, continues to tower over the Moroccan economy. ”42 As mentioned earlier, the abundance of phosphates has proven valuable to the Moroccan economy, as has the existence of copper and iron reserves. Phosphates have comprised as much as 35 to 40 percent of exports and the country holds as much as two-thirds of the world’s known reserves. 43 Since the mid-1970s, the state has also sought to develop Morocco’s bountiful deep-sea fishing sector, among the most abundant waters in the world.

Evans’s study of “embedded autonomy” is superb in that it describes a spectrum between predatory and developmental states. He posits that most states experience some combination of the characteristics of the primary examples of predation and developmentalism, Congo/Zaire and Japan, respectively. ” This chapter introduces the cases of Tunisia and Morocco and the impact of European integration on their respective political economies. It also serves to elaborate further the theoretical concerns proffered in chapter 1.

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