- About Our Program
- Middle East Program Publications
- The Gulf
- The Maghreb
- Egypt, Israel, and the Levant
- Governance, Economics, and Development
- Security Challenges and U.S. Strategy
- Political and Social Trends
Political, economic, and security trends in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
The Maghreb in Transition
While the Maghreb has long been at the margins of U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, trends in this region increasingly reverberate throughout the Middle East. In this new environment, developments in the Maghreb will continue to have an impact both on the broader Middle East and on U.S. interests. The Middle East Program examines changing political, economic, and security trends in the Maghreb—defined here as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya—through original research and analysis and by convening events that highlight issues of importance in the Maghreb to business and policymaking audiences.
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.
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.
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.
After years of striking mostly local targets, militant groups have emerged from the Sahara desert to become a strategic threat to all of North Africa. The resurgence of Al Qaeda and affiliated groups comes at a time when some regional governments are weaker than ever in the wake of the Arab Awakening. The organization and its affiliates will likely shape regional security in the years to come.
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.
Morocco is paying increasing attention to sub-Saharan Africa. Prospects for increased economic ties between the two are positive, but there are several obstacles to Morocco’s efforts to carve out a more influential diplomatic and security role in Africa.
Political trends in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
Economic and governance challenges in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya and opportunities for positive change.
Security dynamics in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya and their implications for the region and for U.S. policy.
Addressing key emerging issues and creating a community of interest in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.