Lindsay J. Benstead

Date of Award

Fall 12-21-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science


Political Science

Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 112 pages)


Mohammed VI (King of Morocco) 1963-, Monarchy -- Morocco -- History -- 21st century, Arab Spring (2010- ), Morocco -- Politics and government -- 1999-




The Arab Spring of 2011 revealed stark variation in the durability of different types of authoritarian regimes. Kings and emirs demonstrably outperformed their republican peers. This paper provides a qualitative study of the Moroccan monarchy in order to better explain this pattern. The findings of an original media content analysis support the paper's thesis that Morocco's King Mohammed VI maintained his throne by effectively using a historically derived position of concentrated power and immense wealth to manipulate potential opposition and dominate public discourse. This multi-causal mechanism of manufactured consent helped create and sustain the monarch's domestic legitimacy while alienating his opponents. Importantly, the illusion of a free media bolsters his image with Western political elites, thus, drawing greater external support and reducing the cost of repression.

Persistent Identifier