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The “New palace guards:” Elections and Elites in Morocco and Jordan

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In 2007, parliamentary elections in Jordan and Morocco marked the emergence of business-minded elites and technocrats who attempted to enact reform from within parliament but remained loyal to the regime. Using Albert Hirschman's framework of “exit, voice and loyalty,” this article argues that the decisions of these “new elites” are in part a function of electoral systems. In particular, personalistic electoral systems encourage political actors to play by the rules and produce “loyalty” outcomes because they ensure patronage benefits. This incentive structure provides some insights into the logic of electoral reform and the relative stability of these two monarchies in contrast to the defection of elites during parliamentary elections in Egypt and the Palestinian Territories around the same time.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2012

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