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George Washington University

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Program Name

Morocco: Migration and Transnational Identity


In the context of the Arab Spring, Morocco faces some of the biggest anti-government protests in recent history, many of which are motivated at least in part by the poor and persistent employment problem. Bearing in mind the staggeringly high numbers of unemployed youth in a country that is also one of the biggest senders of migrants to Europe and North America, I have based my study on the duality of choice Moroccans face. When confronted with deteriorating quality in a given product, as economist Albert O. Hirschman has articulated in his theory on exit, voice, and loyalty, people can either abandon the product by exiting the market or they can try to influence improvement through voice. At a time of near-daily protests demanding jobs from the government, I have sought to understand the decision making among Moroccans to either voice their grievances on the streets or emigrate: fight or flight. Ultimately, the choice is not so exact because of barriers to exit doubled with the interplay of loyalty, which together cause people to remain in Morocco and perhaps, as yet to be seen, influence positive and much-needed changes in the labor market


Civic and Community Engagement | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Inequality and Stratification | Labor Economics | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Work, Economy and Organizations



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