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Commander of the Faithful: Morocco, the King, and the Internal Security Forces

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Research paper

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Morocco is a clear choice for the study for ongoing democratization. Though it is reasonable to argue that democracy of some form is developing in Morocco, there remain vestiges of the ancien regime that lag behind in the countrys move toward the transparency and accountability so necessary in any liberal governance. This paper addresses one particular institution within the changing Moroccan political landscape the internal security forces. I argue that the security forces in Morocco, though having changed dramatically in the past ten years, remain a source of potential and real hindrance to democracys strengthening in Morocco. Because of the twinned features of the services direct responsibility to the executive with no institutional oversight, the internal security services as obstacle to further political liberalization remain fully entrenched. This research into Moroccos transition to democracy is the first case study of a wider research agenda that seeks to answer this basic question have institutional controls impacted the human rights records of internal security services in post-authoritarian regimes In other words, what decisions have particular states taken with respect to their internal security within the democratic context, and how do those decisions in turn manifest themselves in the real-life actions of their services Answering these questions has real policy implications. Should an outside state interested in maximizing indigenous anti-terrorist capabilities encourage systems that may routinely violate democratic praxis Do more transparent system lead to ineffective services Morocco itself cannot provide the universal answers, but it does provide policy-relevance in the successes and foibles of democratization as the United States seeks partners in the Middle East who both are accountable to a liberal polity and are capable in the fight against international terrorism.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law

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