NATIONAL WORKSHOP: "ROLE OF CIVIC EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT IN SHAPING AND BOOSTING SOCIETAL CHANGE IN MOROCCO"

Organized within the framework of the winning AEIF Project "Civic Education and Engagement as Pre-Requisites to Boost the Democratization Process in Morocco", sponsored by the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF), US Department of State

  • Date: October 22nd, 2011
  • Location: Club COS ONE, Agadir (map below)
  • Workshop Languages: English / French / Arabic

ORGANIZING INSTITUTIONS

  • North-South Center for Social Sciences (NRCS)
  • Faculty of Arts and Letters-Ain Chock, Hassan II University of Casablanca
  • Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY, USA
  • State Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF), US Department of State

      

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

  • Dr. Mohamed Behnassi, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agadir, Director of NRCS and Co-manager of the AEIF Project
  • Mrs. Halima Ouamouch, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Casablanca-Ain Chock and Co-manager of the AEIF Project
  • Dr. Driss Bouzaffour, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agadir and Administrative Manager of NRCS
  • Dr. Hassan Assakti, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agadir
  • Mr. Mohamed Boussaid (Ing.), Senior Expert in Sustainable Development, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

RATIONALE

Many observers have placed great hope in the democratization of Arab World. Yet, authoritarianism remained during decades the norm, and movements toward democracy were both slow and uneven. For many experts, the democratic change in this region didn’t happen because most of them suffered from obstinate domestic and external constraints that made democracy appear like an unachievable dream. Yet, despite the prevailing despair, a more insightful look at the state of political change processes under way in the region may give some signs of hope. When analyzing this trend, Morocco can be given as an enlightening and particular example. However, there is a certain uncertainty regarding the extent to which these reforms can generate real outcomes in terms of democratic takeoff since many unfavourable factors still exist and key pre-requisite conditions are still lacking. Thus, we presume that the democratization process in Morocco will continue to face many challenges unless a strong democratic culture and practice and civic engagement are promoted, mainly among decision makers, educators, and students. 

OBJECTIVES

The present Workshop, as the first action scheduled in the implementation process of the above one-year State Alumni Funded Project, aims at:

  • analyzing the underlying factors and dynamics behind the current socio-political transformations in many Arab countries, including Morocco, and the related scenarios highlighting the long-term change in concerned countries;
  • engaging an open debate between participants from various disciplines and horizons (scholars, civil society actors, educators, etc.) on the role of civic education and engagement in sustaining the democratization process in Morocco,
  • getting insight in how mainstreaming civic engagement and democracy values in curriculum and research, along with related decision-making processes and advocacy, can be one of the recommended paths toward an open and democratic Moroccan society.
  • Launching the Platform for Civic Empowerment and Sustainability (CIVES) as a new civil society actor in Morocco with the ambitious, but legitimate, objective to contribute in boosting the current dynamics in Morocco by research, curriculum development, advocacy and interaction with relevant decision making processes transnationally, nationally and locally.

WORKSHOP PROGRAM

Saturday Oct 22nd (PM)

Registration of Participants

14.30–15.00

Opening Speeches:

Dr. Said Bennani, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters- Casablanca

Letter from Julia G. Ganson, Program Manager, Middle East & North Africa, Maxwell School of  Syracuse University, Executive Education Program (read by Ragala, Madiha, Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Letters-Ain Chock Casablanca

Presentation of the AEIF winning Project

Presentation of the Workshop Rationale, Program, and Participants Mohamed Behnassi & Halima Ouamouch, AEIF Project Co-Managers

TOPIC I           RECENT SOCIO-POLITICAL CHANGES: DYNAMICS AND IMPLICATIONS

Moderator: Ahmed Radi, Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of Marrakech

15.00–15.10

 

Socio-Political Transformations in Arab Countries: Underlying Causes and Prospective Outlook

Mohamed Behnassi, Professor at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agadir, Director of NRCS and Co-manager of the AEIF Project

15.10–15.20

 

Democracy and Human Rights in the Balance: The 20 February Youth Movement

Touria Nakkouch, Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of Agadir

15.20–15.30

 

Political Change in Morocco: Assessment of Recent Dynamics and Projected Reforms

Driss Bouzaffour, Professor at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agadir and Administrative Manager of NRCS

15.30–15.40

Constitutional Reform Impacts on Private Entrepreneurship in Morocco- A Human Rights-Based Approach

Hassan Assakti, Professor at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences of Agadir

15.40–16.10

Discussion

16.10–16.30

Coffee Break

TOPIC II          BOOSTING DEMOCRATIC CHANGE IN MOROCCO - CITIZENS AT THE CENTER

Moderator: Ahmed Radi, Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of Marrakech

16.30–16.40

 

Shaping and Sustaining the Democratic Change in Morocco: The Role of Civic Values, Education and Engagement

Halima Ouamouch, Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Casablanca-Ain Chock and Co-manager of the AEIF Project

16.40–16.50

Promoting Sustainable Development via Civic Engagement and Education: Experience from the National ParK of Tazekka

Mohamed Boussaid, Senior Expert in Sustainable Development, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

16.50–17.00

The Role of Civil Society Actors in Provoking Political Change: The Potential of ICTs as a New Powerful Tool

Mbark Akaddar, EFL Teacher, Hassan II High School, Beni Mellal

17.00–17.10

The Role of Civil Society Actors in Enhancing Civic Engagement: Lessons from a Moroccan Experience

Driss Elhajji and Elhabchi Elasri, Moroccan Center for Civic Education

17.10–17.40

Discussion & Recommendations

17.40–18.15

Launching of the Platform for Civic Empowerment and Sustainability (CIVES)

19h30

Dinner for Invited Participants