Governance and Economics in the Maghreb

Part of the: 
The Maghreb
Souk in Morocco

Economic and governance challenges in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya and opportunities for positive change.

Governments across the Maghreb are struggling to address a wide range of socioeconomic and political grievances that sparked popular uprisings throughout 2011. The problems are rooted in political systems that have been marred by corruption, exclusion, and marginalization of large swaths of the population, including young people. Despite significant change, the region is still at the beginning of a long phase of transformation.


Recent Publications


Workforce Development in Tunisia and Jordan: Changing Attitudes under New and Old Systems

Elites in Tunisia and Jordan stress their need to invest in their human resources, because people are the only resources they have.Yet a look at recent and ongoing workforce development efforts in each country reveals that these schemes are intended to produce something fundamentally different in each country.

Maghreb Rising: Competition and Realignment

In Chapter 7 of Rocky Harbors: Taking Stock of the Middle East in 2015, Haim Malka analyzes the future of politics and security in the Maghreb.

Religious Radicalism after the Arab Uprisings

In the Middle East, conflicts that many thought were coming to an end will continue, as will the dynamism and innovation that have emerged among radical and opposition groups.

The Struggle for Religious Identity in Tunisia and the Maghreb

Defining religious identity in the Maghreb has become an urgent challenge for governments fighting violent extremism. Nowhere is the battle as intense as in Tunisia, which is struggling to reshape its religious identity after more than a half century of state-imposed secularism.

Middle East Notes and Comment: Traditional Remedies

The Arab revolts and revolutions of 2011 provided public space for violent extremist ideology to spread and reignited a debate over how to fight it. Among regional allies, the U.S. preference for democracy seems to be on the retreat while the impulse to regulate religion appears to be on the upswing.

Morocco's African Future

Sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly vital to Morocco’s future economic growth and security. Morocco has pursued a soft power strategy in Africa for over a decade, but regional and global dynamics create a new urgency for Morocco to diversify its economic ties, boost multilateral security cooperation, and play a more active diplomatic role.

Jihadi-Salafism's Next Generation

Popular uprisings across North Africa have unleashed a new wave of jihadi-salafism that is increasingly mainstream and appeals to a younger generation of activists. This popular jihadi-salafism is less dramatic than al Qaeda’s version, but it will have a far greater impact on the region’s future.

GCC-Maghreb Relations in a Changing Regional Order

Arab Gulf leaders are making clear the strategic importance they attach to North Africa through offers of aid and investment. But while Gulf leaders want to shape developments in the Maghreb, it is unclear what real political impact their actions have beyond affecting public perceptions.

Conference Report: The Maghreb in Transition

The Maghreb is in motion. Political changes underway across North Africa have created opportunities for more representative and transparent governance. Debates over the nature of authority and the role of the state that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago now shape political discourse. And yet, doubts remain.

Conference Report: Builing Stability through Economic Growth in the Maghreb

Governments across the Maghreb are struggling to address a wide range of socioeconomic and political grievances that sparked popular uprisings throughout 2011.

Arab Reform and Foreign Aid: Lessons from Morocco

The heightened importance Western powers ascribe to Middle Eastern reform and Morocco's prominence as both an example and test case of that reform raise a host of issues for Americans, Europeans, and Moroccans.

All issues of Middle East Notes and Comment related to North Africa


Recent Events


Maghreb Roundtable: What's Next for Algeria?

John P. Entelis and Robert P. Parks shared their different but complementary analyses of Algerian society and politics following the re-election of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Maghreb Roundtable: Human Rights Perspectives in Morocco

Driss El Yazami, president of Morocco’s National Human Rights Council (CNDH), argued that Morocco is trying to build democracy step-by-step, though it faces many challenges ahead.

Tunisia's Path Forward

Tunisian Prime Minister H.E. Mehdi Jomaa spoke about his government’s emphasis on ensuring a smooth path to new parliamentary and presidential elections while strengthening Tunisia’s future economic growth and stability at a CSIS Statesmen's Forum on April 2, 2014.

Maghreb Roundtable: The Geopolitics of North African Energy Trends

Declining production, rising domestic consumption, and insecurity are huge challenges for energy producers in North Africa, according to Leonardo Bellodi and Arezki Daoud.

Maghreb Roundtable: Morocco's Deradicalization Strategy

Governments in the Middle East and North Africa must help foster an authentic, moderate religious discourse that will offer a viable and appealing alternative to extremist ideas, according to Dr. Ahmed Abaddi. 

The Maghreb in Transition with Secretary of State Clinton
In October 2012, CSIS convened a full-day conference to examine the political, economic, and security dimensions of transition in the Maghreb. Read the full conference report.

Watch or listen to the full conference and keep up with our work on the region through the Maghreb in Transition course on iTunes U.

Building Stability through Economic Growth in the Maghreb
CSIS convened a half-day conference in June 2012 to better understand opportunities for spurring economic growth in the Maghreb. Read the full conference report.


Learn more about governance, economics, and development in the Middle East.

Featured Projects


  • Morocco Mosque

    Addressing key emerging issues and creating a community of interest in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.