Cover of Globalizing Morocco by David Stenner
Globalizing Morocco
Transnational Activism and the Postcolonial State
David Stenner


May 2019
312 pages.
from $30.00

Cloth ISBN: 9781503608115
Paper ISBN: 9781503608993
Digital ISBN: 9781503609006

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The end of World War II heralded a new global order. Decolonization swept the world and the United Nations, founded in 1945, came to embody the hopes of the world's colonized people as an instrument of freedom. North Africa became a particularly contested region and events there reverberated around the world. In Morocco, the emerging nationalist movement developed social networks that spanned three continents and engaged supporters from CIA agents, British journalists, and Asian diplomats to a Coca-Cola manager and a former First Lady. Globalizing Morocco traces how these networks helped the nationalists achieve independence—and then enabled the establishment of an authoritarian monarchy that persists today.

David Stenner tells the story of the Moroccan activists who managed to sway world opinion against the French and Spanish colonial authorities to gain independence, and in so doing illustrates how they contributed to the formation of international relations during the early Cold War. Looking at post-1945 world politics from the Moroccan vantage point, we can see fissures in the global order that allowed the peoples of Africa and Asia to influence a hierarchical system whose main purpose had been to keep them at the bottom. In the process, these anticolonial networks created an influential new model for transnational activism that remains relevant still to contemporary struggles.

About the author

David Stenner is Assistant Professor of History at Christopher Newport University.

"David Stenner's sophisticated study of the Moroccan nationalists' social-political international network innovates the conversation on modern Middle Eastern and decolonization history. This rich story reflects the all-out pragmatism of the Moroccans, and culminates in an ironic twist when the nationalists' network is turned into a domestic liability. A great, well-argued read."

—Cyrus Schayegh, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

"David Stenner locates Moroccan nationalists at the vanguard of what would become a worldwide movement of anti-colonial revolutionaries—a full decade before the conference at Bandung, Moroccan activists navigated the global circuits of the Cold War world in pursuit of sovereignty.Globalizing Morocco is an important contribution to the new Cold War history and the history of decolonization."

—Paul Thomas Chamberlin, Columbia University

"David Stenner's book is the best transnational history of Moroccan independence I've ever read, including work in French and Arabic. Globalizing Morocco is as deep as it is easy to read. A masterful success."

—Maâti Monjib, University of Mohammed V, Rabat