The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates

1st Edition

Edited by Cyrus Schayegh, Andrew Arsan


440 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-06-10
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The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates provides an overview of the social, political, economic, and cultural histories of the Middle East in the decades between the end of the First World War and the late 1940s, when Britain and France abandoned their Mandates. It also situates the history of the Mandates in their wider imperial, international and global contexts, incorporating them into broader narratives of the interwar decades. In 27 thematically organised chapters, the volume looks at various aspects of the Mandates such as:

  • The impact of the First World War and the development of a new state system
  • The impact of the League of Nations and international governance
  • Differing historical perspectives on the impact of the Mandates system
  • Techniques and practices of government
  • The political, social, economic and cultural experiences of the people living in and connected to the Mandates.

This book provides the reader with a guide to both the history of the Middle East Mandates and their complex relation with the broader structures of imperial and international life. It will be a valuable resource for all scholars of this period of Middle Eastern and world history.


"The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates marks a groundbreaking contribution to the fields of twentieth century History and Modern Middle East studies. At once globalizing the study of the Middle East and deprovincializing the study of World War I and its aftermath, this book will quickly become required reading in its respective fields. This brilliant collection introduces us to the ways in which the Middle East was a critical staging ground of modernity that led to the emergence of new categories of rule, such as the confession, the minority, and the refugee."

Omnia El Shakry, University of California, Davis, USA

"Thematically organised and compellingly written, this collection offers readers the most comprehensive analysis of the political motivations and socio-cultural impacts of Mandate rule in the Middle East. The coverage is extraordinary, ranging from the high politics of Mandate governance to the micro-level of cities and communities thrown into crisis by changes in imperial authority. An indispensable read for anyone wanting insights into life under the Mandates."

Martin Thomas, University of Exeter, UK

"…whilst this collection will certainly reward specialists, it deserves a much wider readership."

James Sidway, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Table of Contents

Figures, maps, and tables. Acknowledgements. List of contributors. Preface Cyrus Schayegh and Andrew Arsan Foreword: Studying the Mandates: past, present, future Nadine Méouchy and Peter Sluglett Introduction Cyrus Schayegh and Andrew Arsan Part I. The Mandate states in the world: international institutions, transnational linkages Introduction to Part I Andrew Arsan 1. Globalisation, imperialism, and the perspectives of foreign soldiers in the Middle East during the First World War Leila Fawaz 2. Between communal survival and national aspiration: Armenian Genocide refugees, the League of Nations and the practices of interwar humanitarianism Keith David Watenpaugh 3. Compassion and connections: feeding Beirut and assembling Mandate rule in 1919 Simon Jackson 4. Exporting obligations: evolutionism, normalization, and mandatory anti-alcoholism from Africa to the Middle East (1918-1939) Philippe Bourmaud 5. "Education for real life": pragmatist pedagogies and American interwar expansion in Iraq Sarah Pursley 6. The Mandate system as a style of reasoning: international jurisdiction and the parcelling of imperial sovereignty in petitions from Palestine Natasha Wheatley 7. Citizens from afar: Palestinian migrants and the new world order, 1920-1930 Nadim Bawalsa 8. French Mandate counterinsurgency and the repression of the Great Syrian Revolt Michael Provence Part II. Mandate states: governance, discourses, interests Introduction to Part II Cyrus Schayegh 9. Colonial gender discourse in Iraq: constructing non-citizens Noga Efrati 10. Mapping the cadastre, producing the fellah: technologies and discourses of rule in French Mandate Syria and Lebanon Elizabeth Williams 11. Suspect service: prostitution and the public in the Mandate Mediterranean Camila Pastor 12. The successful failure of reform: police legitimacy in British Palestine John L. Knight 13. The social origins of mandatory rule in Transjordan Tariq Tell 14. Colonial cartography and the making of Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria Asher Kaufman 15. Rashid Rida and the 1920 Syrian-Arab constitution: how the French Mandate undermined Islamic liberalism Elizabeth F. Thompson 16. The nation as moral community: language and religion in the 1919 King-Crane Commission Lori Allen Part III. Mandate state-society interactions and societal action: politics, culture, economy Introduction to Part III Cyrus Schayegh 17. Development and disappointment: Arab approaches to economic modernisation in mandate Palestine Jacob Norris 18. Throwing Transjordan into Palestine: electrification and state formation, 1921-1954 Fredrik Meiton 19. Abu Jilda, anti-imperial antihero: banditry and popular rebellion in Palestine Alex Winder 20. "A massacre without precedent": pedagogical constituencies and communities of knowledge in Mandate Lebanon Nadya Sbaiti 21. Hebrew under English rule: the language politics of Mandate Palestine Liora R. Halperin 22. Divinely imprinting prints, or, how pictures became influential persons in Mandate Lebanon Kirsten Scheid 23. Jews in an imperial pocket: Northern Iraqi Jews and the British Mandate Orit Bashkin 24. Sanctity across the border: pilgrimage routes and state control in Mandate Lebanon and Palestine Toufoul Abou-Hodeib 25. Rebels without borders: Southern Syria and Palestine, 1919-1936 Laila Parsons Part IV. Conclusions Introduction to Part IV Cyrus Schayegh 26. The Mandates and/as decolonization Cyrus Schayegh 27. Was there a Mandates period? Some concluding thoughts James L. Gelvin. Index.

About the Editors

Cyrus Schayegh is Associate Professor at the Department for Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University. His publications include Who Is Knowledgeable Is Strong: Science, Class, and the Formation of Modern Iranian Society, 1900-1950 (California University Press, 2009) and the forthcoming Transnationalization: A History of the Modern Middle East, under contract by Harvard University Press.

Andrew Arsan is University Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History in the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. His publications include Interlopers of Empire: The Lebanese Diaspora in Colonial French West Africa (Hurst & Company and Oxford University Press, 2014).

About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Middle East / General
HISTORY / Modern / General