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The George Washington University

Bucerius Fieldwork Grant

Why Parties in Morocco? Political Party Development Under Monarchy


Why do political parties form in authoritarian settings where they cannot contest executive power? Through a comparative-historical analysis of four Moroccan political parties and one social movement organization, the thesis argues that political parties in such regimes form to influence the discourse and practice of politics. Moreover, it is argued that political parties form largely as a result of identity-based rather than distributional conflicts within society. Theoretically, the project draws attention to the ideational, symbolic and other non-electoral reasons for political party formation. Empirically, the project examines the history and trajectory of party-formation in an Arab World where there are few institutional actors primed for future roles.

Abdul-Wahab Kayyali is a Ph.D. candidate at The George Washington University. His research interests are in comparative politics of the Arab World, political parties, and political organizations. His research has been supported by the American Political Science Association (APSA), the GWU Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES), and the GWU Political Science Department. Before enrolling in his Ph.D., he worked in publishing and journalism, and his work has been published in The Financial Times, The National, and Fortune Arabia. He holds a Bachelors Degree from Tufts University and a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago.

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