The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has invited the Kingdom of Morocco to join. However, there are concerns over the effects joining the GCC could have on political reforms promised by King Mohammed VI.
The king has promised significant constitutional reforms; will he allow changes that would lessen his own powers?
The Moroccan regime has employed roundabout methods to strengthen its grip over the institutions still most capable of criticism: the independent and international press.
Morocco's leading leftist party struggles to maintain its integrity and coherence in a political scene dominated by the palace.
Morocco's independent press has been coming increasingly into conflict with the palace and calling vociferously for a new press code, but is the press itself part of the problem?
Morocco's local elections brought many more women into office than ever before, but it is a step that was legislated rather than chosen at the ballot box.
Morocco's upcoming local elections are likely to show improvements in areas specifically chosen for their public relations appeal.
The new Party for Authenticity and Modernity presents itself as an innovative alternative to the Islamist Party of Justice and Development, but its modus operandi is far from new.
The May 16, 2003 Casablanca terrorist attacks that killed 43 people in five synchronized suicide bombings shattered two myths about Moroccan politics.
Is America serious about democracy and political reform in the Arab world? Does the neo-Wilsonian dimension of the Bush administration's policy toward the region presage a decisive departure from the longstanding realist policy of "regime maintenance"?
Truth commissions and other mechanisms of transitional justice usually spring up in the aftermath of civil war or authoritarian rule. They do not thrive where the perpetrators still wield power or enjoy protection.
There is broad consensus in Washington that a "war of ideas" is a central component of the larger war on terror. And in this war, a prime target is the "poisonous" Arab media environment, particularly the new satellite television channels , which are blamed for spreading anti-American sentiment.
Morocco's King Muhammad VI, who ascended the throne in 1999 following the death of his father, King Hassan II, is moving ahead with reforms in some areas such as women's rights. But he maintains an ambivalent, sometimes hostile attitude toward the country's new independent press.
While satellite television often attracts the lion's share of analysis about new media and their effect on prospects for democratization in the Middle East and North Africa, another technology may already have had at least as large an impact: the Internet.
In February 2004, the Kingdom of Morocco enacted reforms to the Mudawwana, or the law governing marriage, divorce, parentage, inheritance, child custody and guardianship, that have the potential to expand women's rights. Moroccan activists initially hailed the reforms as a major victory for women and for the democratic process more broadly.
The second of June marked the second anniversary of the assassination of Lebanese writer Samir Qasir, with no indication of who ordered the car bombing that silenced one of the loudest Arab voices criticizing autocratic Arab regimes, particularly the Assad family in Syria.
The Party of Justice and Development (PJD) is the offspring of the Movement for Unity and Reform, itself an amalgam of several Islamist organizations. It has held seats in parliament since 1997 and increased its share from 14 to 42 seats in the 2002 elections, even though the party only ran in half of Morocco's electoral districts.
Until recently Western assistance programs aimed at strengthening political parties were less present in the Arab world than in almost all other areas of the developing world. As part of the heightened U.S. and European interest in promoting Arab political reform, however, such programs are multiplying in the region.
On January 22, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif officially launched Nile University. Located in the high-tech development zone Smart Village, 20 km northwest of Cairo, it is the first Egyptian private university focusing on post-graduate studies and research. Since 1996, more than ten private universities have been established.