Legitimacy and “Transitional Continuity” in a Monarchical Regime: Case of Morocco

The Arab uprisings and outbreak of mass protest in many countries in the Arab world, requesting the change of regimes and political leaders, translate a deep malaise in the state-society relationship and an alarming crisis of the state legitimacy. Hence, this paper seeks to understand the intriguing nature of the Moroccan political system and its legitimacy formula as a monarchical regime. Using an integrated conceptual framework, this paper evaluates the Moroccan regime’s legitimacy by considering the justificatory principles and normative sources of its authority in addition to examining the degree of consent from the people and exploring the relation between legitimacy and performance. For that purpose, a case method is adopted using a narrative approach combined with a historical institutional perspective showing a path dependency, and revealing a “transitional continuity” in Morocco displaying a process of change while maintaining a consistent pattern over time.