Regime Survival during the Arab Spring: : A Case study of how the Moroccan leader addressed the popular discontent during and after the Arab Spring in 2011
Abstract: The Arab Spring, the protests that spread through the Arab world, led to very different outcomes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. That some regimes survived during the Arab Spring and some experienced regime-change has been explained through political, economic and social perspectives. This desk-study investigates how the Moroccan government addressed popular discontent during and after the Arab spring in 2011. In order to examine the case study through a new theoretical angle, this research applies the Theory of Policy Substitutability by Amy Oakes (2012) to the chosen case study. This study identifies that the Moroccan government used political reform, repression, a sort of economic reform and the use of cultural symbols were put in place to lower the intensity of protests. The findings underline that the government used a number of tactics that can be analyzed through the concept of diversionary tactics, meaning the diversion from internal struggle. This research adds value to the discussion about regime survival in the case of the Moroccan Arab Spring not only by applying the Theory of PS as a structuring device for existing explanations of regime survival, it furthermore adds value by giving an example of how scholars can examine qualitatively how the concept of diversionary tactics (military and non-military responses) can have applicability.
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