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States and Social Rights: Women's Economic Citizenship in the Maghreb

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image of Middle East Law and Governance

How has economic reform transformed states, societies, and state-society relations in the countries of the Maghreb (North Africa)? With a focus on Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, the paper identifies new actors, opportunities, and challenges observed in the Maghreb. Specifically, it examines how—in an era of globalization characterized by neoliberal economic policy but also the worldwide diffusion of norms of women's rights—state strategies for integration into the global economy have been affecting women's economic participation and social rights and have, in turn, led to women's collective action for legal equality and social-economic rights. As such, state-society relations are being renegotiated in terms of both new social and new gender contracts. In examining recent reforms of family codes and labor laws, the paper elucidates the contradictory effects of globalization on women and the complicated relations between states and feminist organizations in the region. The argument is informed conceptually by world-systems theory, feminist political economy, theories of citizenship, and the social movements literature.

Affiliations: 1: Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, United States


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