British Policy in Aden and the Protectorates 1955-67

Last Outpost of a Middle East Empire

By Spencer Mawby

© 2005 – Routledge

228 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138867772
pub: 2015-04-07
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780714654591
pub: 2005-08-23
US Dollars$210.00

About the Book

This is the first detailed account of the confrontation between Britain and President Nasser of Egypt over the Colony of Aden and the surrounding protected states, prior to British withdrawal in 1967. Paying particular attention to the conflicting goals of Arab nationalism and British imperialism, it is argued that Britain’s motivation for this campaign was not solely material but was partly derived from a determination to contain Nasser’s influence and to guarantee a continuation of Britain’s role in influencing the politics of the Arabian peninsula.

Mawby argues that a significant problem for the British was the decision to undertake a new imperial adventure in Aden at a time when British economic and military power was on the wane, whilst support for the nationalist struggles in the Middle East and the United Nations was increasing. He goes on to suggest that British policy and the conduct of military campaigns facilitated the emergence of a radical brand of Arab politics in southwest Arabia.

By demonstrating the manner in which the rise and fall of British imperialism was telescoped into a short period in the late 1950s and early 1960s, this volume provides an important insight into the unique and unacknowledged place of Aden in the history of British decolonization.


'This is an excellent thought-provoking study and a must read for the serious student of the period…I highly recommend it.' - Asian Affairs

'This important work for the Middle Eastern specialist comes at a time of apparent re-awakened interest in Aden as the 40th anniversary of the British withdrawal in 1967 approaches. It is painstakingly researched and draws on much previously unpublished material.' - Asian Affairs

'Mawby has produced a carefully analysed and detailed Arabian story, which tells us a good deal about the difficulties of dealing with nationalism and sectarian conflict … It should be read by all students interested in British foreign policy in the Middle East.'Saki R. Dockrill, The English Historical Review

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: British Imperialism and Arab Nationalism 2. History and Politics of Southwest Arabia 3. Zenith of the Forward Policy 1955-59 4. Debating Aden’s Future 1959-1962 5. War on Arab Nationalism 1962-1964 6. The Labour Reappraisal 1964-1966 7. Decline and Fall of the Forward Policy 1966-1967 8. Conclusions

About the Series

British Politics and Society

Social change impacts not just upon voting behaviour and party identity but also the formulation of policy. But how do social changes and political developments interact? Which shapes which? Reflecting a belief that social and political structures cannot be understood either in isolation from each other or from the historical processes which form them, this series will examine the forces that have shaped British society. Cross- disciplinary approaches will be encouraged. In the process, the series will aim to make a contribution to existing fields, such as politics, sociology and media studies, as well as opening out new and hitherto-neglected fields.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General