The rural social contract in Morocco and Algeria: reshaping through economic liberalisation and new rules and practices

Houdret, Annabelle / Hichem Amichi
External Publications (2020)

in: The Journal of North African Studies, first published 30.11.2020


Against the background of degrading livelihoods, mounting inequalities and related protests in rural areas of Morocco and Algeria, this article mobilises the concept of the rural social contract to analyze changes in the strategic alliances between central regimes and rural elites. It reveals how economic liberalisation reforms have affected the agricultural sector and changed the way both regimes grant their supporters access to water and land in exchange for loyalty. It also highlights that in order to maintain social peace in a context of increasing difficulties for the farmers, regimes tolerate rule-transgression in the use of water, land, and other production resources which, in turn, threatens the sustainability of current arrangements.

About the author

Houdret, Annabelle

Political Scientist


Further experts

Baumann, Max-Otto

Political Science 

Breuer, Anita

Political Scientist 

Dick, Eva

Sociologist and Spatial Planner 

Dombrowsky, Ines


Fasold, Maximilian

Political Economy 

Haldenwang, Christian von

Political Science 

Hornidge, Anna-Katharina

Development and Knowledge Sociology 

Leininger, Julia

Political Scientist 

Morare, Ditebogo Modiegi

Political Science 

Nowack, Daniel

Political Science 

Roll, Michael


Schoderer, Mirja

Environmental Research 

Schüpf, Dennis