The Contradictions of Sovereignty: Development, Family Planning, and the Struggle for Population Control in Postcolonial Morocco

Abstract: This essay examines the origins of family planning programs in postcolonial Morocco and demonstrates a dynamic relationship between the Moroccan leadership, population experts, and global health programs. While introducing the initiative in Morocco, King Hassan II and the Population Council, the chief architect and supporter of population control efforts in the 1960s, negotiated, adapted, and balanced competing agendas in order to achieve their respective goals. The Moroccan case reveals innovative methods of state building but it also highlights how population control created contradictions of sovereignty and agency for independent regimes. This study, therefore, contributes to our understanding of the complex interplay and mutual dependence between newly sovereign states in the global south and international organizations in the post-independence era.

This content is restricted to site members. If you are an existing user, please login. New users may click here to subscribe.

Existing Users Log In
   


Contributors
About Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is associate professor of history at Brown University. Her first book, The Battle for Algeria: Sovereignty, Health Care, and Humanitarianism (University of Pennsylvania, 2016), offers a new interpretation of the Algerian War (1954–1962) and foregrounds the centrality of health and humanitarianism to the nationalists’ war effort. Her current research examines the relationship between public health and state building. Specifically, it explores family planning programs in postcolonial Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and shows how newly independent regimes partnered with international organizations on this particular initiative to develop their countries and expand their national health services in the wake of decolonization.