Winners and Losers: Morocco’s Market Liberalization and Contemporary Cultural Representations

Yousef Awad, Ghada Tayem


This paper investigates how Moroccan novelist Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (2005) and Secret Son (2009) demonstrate that Morocco’s adoption of IMF and World Bank economic policies has had devastating repercussions on the nation’s low income populations due to the downsizing of the state’s expenditures on vital sectors such as education, health and transportation. Lalami creates a fictional space through which she comments on the outcomes of market liberalization and privatization in Morocco and illustrates how the country’s socioeconomic problems, including religious extremism, are caused by a combination of external and internal forces that intertwine with the nation’s march towards modernization and integration into global economy. Through a close reading of Lalami’s works, we show how corrupt Moroccan officials and their unscrupulous elite business allies take advantage of the prevalent discourse of ‘war on terror’ to attain personal gains, justify their flawed economic policies, silence opposing voices, and crush the nation’s poor.


Laila Lalami; Neoliberalism; Contemporary Morocco; Cultural representation; IMF; World bank; Terrorism

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