This project analyzes the impact of decentralization on local governance institutions in Morocco and Jordan.
Decentralization processes are often initiated and financed by international actors. However, little is known about the concrete effects of these programs on local governance institutions in authoritarian contexts of limited statehood. It is our goal to investigate how these decentralization processes play out on the level of local institutions in the monarchies of Morocco and Jordan. Our research addresses four central questions:
Decentralization efforts provide an especially effective way to analyze local power relationships. On the one hand, improved participation – and thereby improved inclusion – is a normative and empirical goal of decentralization. On the other hand, decentralization processes attempt to create new governance institutions, for example through the explicit inclusion of private actors in the production of collective goods.
Taking Rabat and Amman as urban examples and Midelt and Ma’an as rural examples, this study examines how decentralisation processes affect two concrete factors: participation in local elections, and access to water. We approach the project through an explorative, qualitative analysis (generation of the hypothesis, intentional explanation), followed by a synchronic and diachronic comparison (Morocco and Jordan, capitals and medium-sized towns; elections 2003/2009 in Morocco, 2003/2007/2011 in Jordan).