There have been quite a number of publications that deal with civil society in Morocco. The earliest contribution dates from 1989. This is Ahmed Ghazali’s ‘Contribution à l’analyse du phémomène associatif au Maroc.’1 It was the first acknowledgement of a new phenomenon, that of the mouvement associatif, which the author analysed in terms of the Moroccan judicial framework, quantitative aspects, and the lack of independence of many of the associations to both the state and the political parties of the opposition. He observes that the liberty of association – despite the liberal character of the dahir (decree) of 19582 – was curtailed in modifications in 1973. This new dahir3 stipulated that each new association must produce a declaration (‘déclaration préalable’) at the Interior Ministry, which in turn must provide the association with a ‘legal receipt’. Failing to do so would render the activities of an association illegal. In practice, the déclaration préalable (still in practice) meant that the authorities could effectively ban associations through the withholding of a ‘receipt’, no association being able to prove that it had filed its declaration. Still, between 18,000 and 30,000 associations were already active in the late 1980s, most of which were in the field of sports and youth.4