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Re-Imagining Religion and Politics: Moroccan Elections in the 1990s

  • Dale F. Eickelman

Abstract

Anthropologist Benedict Anderson argues that national and religious communities are imagined. They transcend the boundaries of face-to-face communities but are also less than universal, with “finite, if elastic, boundaries—sovereign, and with a deep, horizontal comradeship.”1 The affinities of religious and political identities are actively shaped and constrained by how both the elite and nonelite conceive them. Although not infinitely malleable, political and religious identities are not fixed and enduring, as some of their adherents claim.

Keywords

Political Party Personal Interview Polling Place Parliamentary Election Mass Education 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, revised edition (New York: Verso, 1991 [orig. 1983]), pp. 6–7.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson, op. cit., 19.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Rémy Leveau, Le sabre et le turban: L’Avenir du Maghreb (Paris: François Bourin, 1993), p. 13. From 1958 until 1965, Leveau was a technical advisor to the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior. Among his responsibilities was laying the groundwork for the country’s first municipal and parliamentary elections.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    See Ann Elizabeth Mayer, “Moroccans—Citizens or Subjects? A People at the Crossroads,” Journal of International Law and Politics (forthcoming), for an analysis of the new constitution and work by official and private human rights groups in Morocco. Also see Susan Waltz, “Making Waves: The Political Impact of Human Rights Groups in North Africa,” Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 29, no. 3 (1991): 481–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 8.
    Anderson, op. cit., 19.Google Scholar
  6. 18.
    Rémy Leveau, Le fellah marocain: Défenseur du trône (Paris: Presses de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, 1976).Google Scholar
  7. 19.
    Gaetano Mosca, The Ruling Class: Element! di Scienza Politica, Hannah D. Kahn, trans. (New York: McGraw Hill, 1939).Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    See Dale F. Eickelman, “Royal Authority and Religious Legitimacy: Morocco’s Elections, 1960–1984,” in The Frailty of Authority, Myron J. Aronoff, ed. (New Brunswick and Oxford: Transaction Books, 1986), pp. 181–205, and Dale F. Eickelman, “Religion in Polity and Society,” in The Political Economy of Morocco, I. William Zartman, ed. (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1987), pp. 84–97.Google Scholar
  9. 25.
    Data for Figure 14.1 are derived from Royaume du Maroc, Ministère du Plan, Direction de la Statistique, Annuaire statistique du Maroc, 1991 (Rabat: Direction de la Statistique, 1992), and from Al Bayane (Casablanca), September 28, 1992.Google Scholar
  10. 26.
    See Natalie Zenon Davis, Society and Culture in Early Modern France (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1975), pp. 189–226.Google Scholar
  11. 27.
    For a fuller treatment of this notion, discussed in summary form below, see Dale F. Eickelman, “Mass Higher Education and the Religious Imagination in Contemporary Arab Societies,” American Ethnologist, vol. 19, no. 4 (November 1992): 643–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 32.
    Pierre Bourdieu, Homo Academicus (London: Polity Press, 1988), and M’Hammed Sabour, Homo Academicus Arabicus (Joensuu, Finland: University of Joensuu Publications in Social Sciences, 1988).Google Scholar
  13. 33.
    Michael Albin, “Moroccan-American Bibliography,” in The Atlantic Connection: 200 Years of Moroccan-American Relations, 1786–1986, J. Bookin-Weiner and M. El Mansour, eds. (Rabat: Edino Press, 1990), and Roger Chartier, The Cultural Uses of Print in Early Modern France, L. G. Cochrane, trans. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1987): 6–11.Google Scholar
  14. 34.
    ‘Abd al-Salam Yassin, La révolution à l’heure de l’Islam (Grignac-la-Nerthe, France: n.p. 1981). This French edition was translated by Yassin, formerly an inspector of French education in Morocco.Google Scholar
  15. 35.
    Anderson, op. cit.Google Scholar
  16. 36.
    Hassan II, Discours et interviews (Rabat: Ministry of Information, 1984), p. 162.Google Scholar
  17. 37.
    Mohamed El Ayadi, “Le modèle social marocain à la lumière du discours scolaire,” Thèse de doctorat du troisième cycle en sciences sociales (Paris: Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, 1983).Google Scholar
  18. 44.
    The police official, Hajj Muhammad Mustafa Tabit, was arrested on February 18 and condemned to death on March 15. Moroccan newspapers, but not the broadcast media, carried daily reports. For an English summary of the trial and its implications, see Fiammetta Rocco, “The Shame of Casablanca,” The Independent on Sunday (London), May 9, 1993.Google Scholar
  19. 51.
    Leveau, op. cit., 37.Google Scholar
  20. 54.
    Michael C. Hudson, “Democratization and the Problem of Legitimacy in Middle East Politics,” Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, vol. 22 (1988): 157.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale F. Eickelman

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