Social bond

Issues of concern for society have been examined by IRES within the framework of the "Social Bond" study programme. Developing the most accurate possible knowledge of the social bond in Morocco is a matter of strategic importance, in view of the tangible difficulties that affect the conditions of living together in light of political, economic, social and cultural developments, both nationally and internationally.

The resulting major transformations in social relations have induced change in the forms of solidarity and the social bonds between Moroccan citizens and between them and the State.

Based on this observation, IRES has, since 2009, conducted several studies and analyses on the social bond in Morocco. These works, which had started well before the "Arab Spring", were initially aimed at questioning the major areas of transformation of the social bond in relation to the transitional processes of Moroccan society, mapping social spaces most affected by the weakening of the social bond, better understanding the signs of slackness observed, and more specifically defining new modes of regulation and strengthening of the living together. These studies and analyses also sought to understand the evolution of relations between individuals, analyse their impact on social cohesion and propose appropriate public policies.

IRES has carried out this study programme in three phases and, by the end of 2019, eight additional studies had been completed.

In addition to the state of the bibliographical research at the national and international level, this programme of studies has made it possible, in the qualitative phase (2008-2010), to address several questions relating, in particular, to institutional and interpersonal trust, socio-economic inequalities, social cohesion, identity and cultural tensions, religious clashes, youth, new social protest movements, etc.

The conclusions of this first qualitative phase have been included in a summary report, structured around three issues: the change in values and reworking of the social bond, the difficulties of living together and the role of the State and social actors in maintaining the social bond and the socio-political balance, as well as questions relating to the relationship between individuals and between the State and citizens.

The quantitative phase (2011-2012) has resulted in the implementation of a national survey on the social bond, covering a representative sample of more than 5,000 people. This field survey, which concerned all regions of the Kingdom, was conducted in May and June 2011. It required the mobilization of a team of 60 investigators, most of them are doctoral students in different disciplines of human and social sciences; the survey has generated a very large amount of information on the Moroccan society.

This national survey on the social bond which was the first of its kind in Morocco was the subject of a report and a graphic atlas. It provided relevant insights on family ties, friendship ties, neighbourhood ties, work ties, political and civic ties, solidarities, collective identities and the sense of belonging to Moroccan society (‘Moroccanness’), living together and the sense of citizenship. It also focused on the social areas of trust and mistrust.

The strategic phase (2012) ended with a strategic summary report, which includes all the knowledge gathered throughout this programme of analysis on Moroccan society, and formulates some proposals for public policies, capable of restoring confidence in the institutions, strengthening economic, social, spatial and generational solidarity, enhancing plural identity and, at the same time, promoting the development of social science research.

Education has been given prominence in the study of societal issues. The 2012 study has diagnosed the education system, analysed the impact of the reforms carried out and formulated proposals to improve the quality of education and harmonize this sector with Morocco’s fundamental development choices.

In addition to carrying out these three phases mentioned above, IRES has conducted, between 2012 and 2015, complementary studies on “Cultural aspects of regionalization”, “Trust, public policies and social needs”, “The Shiite movement in Morocco: developments and trends” and “Inequalities and social cohesion in Morocco: Challenges and public policy guidelines”.

As part of the analysis of national issues, IRES finalized, in June 2014, a study entitled “The operationalization of the Constitution: What impacts on the governance of public policy?” This study highlighted the strategic context of the process of operationalization of the Constitution, in the light of democratic projections and the political and economic challenges that accompany this structuring project.

The study set out to understand how the new modes defined by the Constitution in terms of public policy could contribute to the implementation of good governance in Morocco. The IRES study also covered three structuring legislative fields: the new constitutional rights of civil society, official bilingualism and the reform of the judiciary.

In 2016, IRES carried out the second edition of the national survey on the social bond in Morocco. In order to take into account the developments that Morocco has undergone over the last five years as well as the changes observed at the regional and international level, it was deemed appropriate to introduce, under this second survey, the questions relating to the new concepts arising from the Kingdom’s new Constitution as well as the dimensions related to security, social media, etc.

The comparison of the results of the 2011 and 2016 surveys has made it possible to develop an updated radioscopy of the Moroccan society.

At the end of 2019, two strategic reports, two reports of the national survey on the social bond in Morocco and 32 thematic reports have been drawn up, requiring the mobilization of more than 36 associate researchers and 101 doctoral students, as well as the organization of 43 seminars, in which a number of Moroccan figures, public and private actors, university experts and representatives of civil society have taken part.

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