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Skidmore College

Publication Date

Spring 2020

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


The modern Moroccan state seen today is very young. Having only been independent from France since 1956, the country has spent the last sixty-four years crafting its post-colonial statehood. What has emerged is a hybrid political system with powers split, however unequally, between the King and his inner circle, known as the makhzen, and the Parliament. Not only is the monarchy constitutional—meaning that its legitimacy is literally written into the primary governing document of Morocco, which had its last referendum in 2011—but it is also self-sustaining and self-legitimizing, for the monarchy uses its constitutional powers to grant itself further powers and enforce its approved social order. One of the primary ways any state enforces its approved social order is through public violence and/or the threat of public violence. This paper will explore how the use of and meaning behind public violence in Morocco has shifted from its independence in 1956 to today, specifically through analyzing the political development of capital punishment, or the death penalty. As of 2011, an organization called the Advocates for Humans Rights reports that there are approximately 150 people on death row in Morocco. Ultimately, this paper will contribute to the growing literature discussing the human rights implications of the continued use of the death penalty worldwide and what its abolition could mean for human rights movements.


African Studies | Civil Law | Comparative Politics | Constitutional Law | Human Rights Law | Legal | Legal Studies | Politics and Social Change


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