Contemporary migration from Morocco can be traced back to the colonial period. Sustained by the economic boom in Europe and the need for labour migrants, migration was sharply restricted in the early 1970s, although already existing transcontinental family networks as well as official family reunion schemes in Europe enabled further migration and settlement. Originally from rural areas, post-1970 migration flows originated in larger urban areas, targeted a wider range of destinations and included a growing share of well educated Moroccans and, increasingly, also women.
The author shows that migration affects all social strata and socio-economic structures. She reviews the official policies aimed at the dynamic migrant elites, introduced to enhance the development impact of remittances and other productive investments, and to strengthen the ties to the large Moroccan diaspora. The strains migration exerts on the established family and social order are highlighted, as is its role as a catalyst for necessary change and adaptation.
As the author reviews these in turn she suggests options to integrate migration and the related financial and social transfers and exchanges into social and economic policies in Morocco, and to foster and harness their constructive social and development implications.