Keywords: universities, higher education, Maghreb countries, power politics, national innovation systems, rent seeking, university reforms, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania
Universities and scientific research in the Maghreb states: power politics and innovation systems
Universities are called to play a vital role in Maghreb countries. In a relatively short time, the countries will be fully opened through the Free Trade Agreement with Europe and will face tough competition. This article looks at the challenge they face in contributing to build an efficient national innovation system. It examines in depth the internal power game and the race to political positions, which put scientific work and academic achievements in a secondary position. Rent seeking gradually becomes the dominant activity and consumes the largest share of valuable research time contributed. Unless these issues are properly addressed, successive university reforms can only have limited results.