Essaouira: The Formation of a New Elite, 1940-1980

This paper assesses the Braudel/Wallerstein model of the modern world-system by looking at the development of a new commercial elite in Essaouira, a small urban centre in Morocco, between 1948 and 1965. In the theory of the modern world-system, which proposes an explanation for current economic inequalities among regions of the world, commerce could be said to play the role of efficient cause in the spread of the capitalist market. The evidence on Essaouira suggests that in 1980 commerce was not yet operating with a purely capitalist rationality, even though many facets of the economy are explicable according to the spread of capitalism. The role of the small urban centre in Morocco seems, thus, to be both a conservative one (preserving traditional structures) and a revolutionary one (spreading the influence of the capitalist economy and other geopolitical interests into the rural areas). Bibliogr.

Title: Essaouira: The Formation of a New Elite, 1940-1980
Author: Park, Thomas K.
Year: 1988
Periodical: African Studies Review
Volume: 31
Issue: 3
Period: December
Pages: 111-132
Language: English
Geographic term: Morocco
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/524076
Abstract: This paper assesses the Braudel/Wallerstein model of the modern world-system by looking at the development of a new commercial elite in Essaouira, a small urban centre in Morocco, between 1948 and 1965. In the theory of the modern world-system, which proposes an explanation for current economic inequalities among regions of the world, commerce could be said to play the role of efficient cause in the spread of the capitalist market. The evidence on Essaouira suggests that in 1980 commerce was not yet operating with a purely capitalist rationality, even though many facets of the economy are explicable according to the spread of capitalism. The role of the small urban centre in Morocco seems, thus, to be both a conservative one (preserving traditional structures) and a revolutionary one (spreading the influence of the capitalist economy and other geopolitical interests into the rural areas). Bibliogr.