Stacy E. Holden

in The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033730
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039398 | DOI:

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This is the story of ordinary workers and their strategies to engage the state and to assert their interests. The Alaouite sultans who ruled these subject peoples claimed the right to undisputed authority in their kingdom. Through their social networks, commercial innovations, and technological choices, Moroccans ensured that their government recognized and acknowledged the interests of the working majority. This study concludes that sultans gave priority to the provisioning of the city with food in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in order to secure the loyalty of workers and the poor, the lynchpins of their authority. This study of political legitimacy and state construction in Morocco strongly suggests that the poor environmental conditions of the semiarid lands of the Arab–Islamic world create a paradoxically fertile field for authoritarianism.

Keywords: semiarid lands; social networks; Alaouite sultans; authoritarianism; Morocco; workers

Chapter.  2386 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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