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The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco (Paperback)
  • The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco (Paperback)
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The Politics of Food in Modern Morocco (Paperback)

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£26.95
Paperback 296 Pages / Published: 30/12/2014
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Unlike most other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Morocco has had a stable government for centuries. Even when it was a French protectorate (1912-56), the Alaouite Sultans wielded centralized power. The reasons why are the subject of Stacy Holden's book, and the answers may come as a surprise.

Holden successfully argues that, rather than the importance of a theocratic government to the citizenry, the key factor in the government's stability is its ability to provide food to its people in an equitable manner, despite arid conditions.. Further, without apologizing for abuses of power, she suggests that an authoritative government may be the most logical form of government in the semi-arid lands of the Arab-Islamic world.

She offers a new interpretation of Moroccan history by demonstrating the ways in which the French policies regarding food distribution were consistent with those of the precolonial Sultans. In Holden's telling, it was the weaknesses of the French government--especially when faced with local drought and global recession that bankrupted the government--that led to its inability to provide food to the people and subsequently to the rise of popular nationalism.

Publisher: University Press of Florida
ISBN: 9780813060903
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Groundbreaking and innovative.... Holden's comparative investigation of Moroccan and colonial food policies enables her to reexamine and challenge some commonly held views about the 'despotic' characteristics of Islamic (or 'Oriental') government or the exploitative nature of the colonial state."--Enterprise and Society

"Charity, patronage, and highly personalised economic relations are a theme running through the book, just as they are a strong strand in Moroccan political culture."--Middle East Bulletin

"An important, welcome, and fresh contribution to the literature on political modernity in the Middle East and North Africa. . . . Extremely ambitious in its scope. . . . Points to new paths for future research."--Middle East Journal

"Argues that the successful distribution of food during environmental crises has contributed to the stability and longevity of the Moroccan monarchy. . . . A welcome addition to literature focusing on how food-related commodities and ecological conditions affect politics."--American Historical Review

"Offers a deep analysis of Moroccan history through the lens of food production and distribution. . . . Exposes the tensions between modernized (predominantly favored by French colonists) and traditional (predominantly favored by all classes of indigenous Moroccan peoples) food production methods. Highly recommended."--Choice

"Strongly recommend[ed] . . . [for] everyone interested in the history of modern Morocco, pre-industrial towns, colonial policies and the study of politics in the Arab Islamic world."--Social History

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