This contribution uses the National Initiative for Human Development in Morocco as a case study to show the effects of 'inclusive' neoliberal local governance reforms on local state-society relations and the redeployment of state power. This initiative, launched by the king in 2005, is designed to improve socio-economic conditions in targeted poor areas through new participatory local governance mechanisms. The article argues, first, that these mechanisms in fact serve to strengthen the power of the appointed representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, especially at the province level, at the expense of local governments. Second, the findings show that by instrumentalizing local associations to access INDH funds, local councillors base their legitimacy increasingly on their renewed alliance with the king through the INDH and the clientelist relations it allows them to maintain, rather than on their status as political representatives. This contributes to the fragmentation and weakening of local (political) accountability.

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ISS Staff Group 2: States, Societies and World Development
Mediterranean Politics
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Bergh, S.I. (2012). 'Inclusive' Neoliberalism, Local Governance Reforms and the Redeployment of State Power. Mediterranean Politics, 17(3), 410–426. doi:10.1080/13629395.2012.725304