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Globalized Authoritarianism

Megaprojects, Slums, and Class Relations in Urban Morocco

2018
Author:

Koenraad Bogaert

Globalized Authoritarianism

A rich investigation into Morocco’s urban politics

Over the past thirty years, megaprojects have transformed Morocco’s urban centers into laboratories of capital accumulation, political dominance, and social control. Showing how Morocco’s experiences helped produce new forms of globalization, Koenraad Bogaert offers a bridge between in-depth issues of Middle Eastern studies and broader questions of power, class, and capital as they continue to evolve in the twenty-first century.

Globalized Authoritarianism is a must-read for scholars and political organizers interested in urban neoliberal politics in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond. Exploring political change through the frame of the city, Koenraad Bogaert traces how the geopolitical concept of the urban comes to take a central place in class and biopolitics in contemporary Morocco, a major shift since the 1970s and an elite response to heightened social struggle from below. Bogaert brilliantly synthesizes Marxist literatures and their critics to show how the urban becomes a central arena of social struggle in a neoliberal period that continues to haunt and afflict the living long past its heyday.

Ahmed Kanna, author of Dubai: The City as Corporation

Over the past thirty years, Morocco’s cities have transformed dramatically. To take just one example, Casablanca’s medina is now obscured behind skyscrapers that are funded by global capital and encouraged by Morocco’s monarchy, which hopes to transform this city into a regional leader of finance and commerce. Such changes have occurred throughout Morocco. Megaprojects are redesigning the cityscapes of Rabat, Tangiers, and Casablanca, turning the nation’s urban centers into laboratories of capital accumulation, political dominance, and social control.

In Globalized Authoritarianism, Koenraad Bogaert links more abstract questions of government, globalization, and neoliberalism with concrete changes in the city. Bogaert goes deep beneath the surface of Morocco’s urban prosperity to reveal how neoliberal government and the increased connectivity engendered by global capitalism transformed Morocco’s leading urban spaces, opening up new sites for capital accumulation, creating enormous class divisions, and enabling new innovations in state authoritarianism. Analyzing these transformations, he argues that economic globalization does not necessarily lead to increased democratization but to authoritarianism with a different face, to a form of authoritarian government that becomes more and more a globalized affair.

Showing how Morocco’s experiences have helped produce new forms of globalization, Bogaert offers a bridge between in-depth issues of Middle Eastern studies and broader questions of power, class, and capital as they continue to evolve in the twenty-first century.

Globalized Authoritarianism

Koenraad Bogaert is assistant professor in the Department of Conflict and Development Studies and member of the Middle East and North Africa Research Group (MENARG) at Ghent University.

Globalized Authoritarianism

Globalized Authoritarianism is a must-read for scholars and political organizers interested in urban neoliberal politics in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond. Exploring political change through the frame of the city, Koenraad Bogaert traces how the geopolitical concept of the urban comes to take a central place in class and biopolitics in contemporary Morocco, a major shift since the 1970s and an elite response to heightened social struggle from below. Bogaert brilliantly synthesizes Marxist literatures and their critics to show how the urban becomes a central arena of social struggle in a neoliberal period that continues to haunt and afflict the living long past its heyday.

Ahmed Kanna, author of Dubai: The City as Corporation

Globalized Authoritarianism

Contents
Acronyms
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: Morocco’s Urban Revolution
Part I. Neoliberalism as Projects
1. Considering the Global Situation
2. An Urban History of Neoliberal Projects in Morocco
Part II. (State-)Crafting Globalization
3. Neoliberalism as Class Projects
4. Imagineering a New Bouregreg Valley
Part III. Transforming Urban Life
5. Changing Methods of Authoritarian Power
6. Power and Control through Techniques of Security
Conclusion: A New Geography of Power
Notes
Bibliography
Index