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Title

Activism under Authoritarianism. Young Political Militants in Meknes

AuthorsThierry Desrues ; Said Kirhlani
Keywordspolitical parties
Meknes
youth
activism
political membership
Islamism
Issue Date2013
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationJournal of North African Studies 18: 753- 767 (2013)
AbstractAll indicators for Moroccan elections suggest a generalised disaffection of young people from mainstream politics. We are, therefore, led to ask why some young people become activists in Moroccan political parties. How do young political militants differ from their peers? When and how do they decide to join a party? How do they perceive their roles as party activists? This study addresses these questions among young activists of different political organisations in the city of Meknes. We find that socialisation in a politicised environment inside the family, the associative sector or at the university favours membership of political organisations. The role of friends and social networks is also important. Above all, activists’ own accounts of their political involvement insist on their altruistic motivations. But because party commitment among young people is atypical in unfavourable social, economic and politic contexts, young activists feel they pertain to a distinctive group, which is something like an elite among young Moroccan people. Activists are highly critical of the lack of internal democracy in those parties that have participated in the government, but the cost to their social networks and emotional investments of leaving the party seems to be too high. While there are fundamental ideological differences separating Islamists from other ideological trends, activists across the spectrum share this sense of group distinction and critique of the regime and the socio-economic status quo
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13629387.2013.849892
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/213168
DOI10.1080/13629387.2013.849892
Identifiersdoi: 10.1080/13629387.2013.849892
issn: 1362-9387
Appears in Collections:(IESA) Artículos
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