Introduction to Part II

Authored by: Cyrus Schayegh

The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138800588
eBook ISBN: 9781315713120
Adobe ISBN: 9781317497066

10.4324/9781315713120.intro2

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Abstract

There was more than one possible way of ordering the 17 chapters that make up the second and third parts of this edited volume. Indeed, editors are not unlike historians. The latter explicitly create meaning by lining up ‘their’ facts in a particular way; the former implicitly create meaning by sorting ‘their’ chapters. Why this way, then? Why two parts called “Mandate states” and “Mandate state-society interactions and societal action?” Practicalities aside – this way, the two parts are about even1 – the basic reason is that, to paraphrase this volume’s main introduction, the underlying double question of the following chapters is: How did Mandate colonialism function and how did societal actors interact with it and act in it? That is a double question, and not two questions, for it has a common denominator: politics. This is why the main introduction’s bibliographical chapter followed one, single politics-centered spectrum, and why an intellectual purist might have stuck all of the following 17 chapters into one single monstrous part called “State/state-society interactions/society.” That sight we have spared our readers. But in principle, this part and the next are not really separate, but rather lie side by side on one politics-centered spectrum. Part II is more state-heavy, whereas Part III is more focused on state-society relations and on societal action. But nonstate actors also feature in Part II, and state actors in Part III.

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