Development and disappointment: Arab approaches to economic modernization in mandate Palestine

Norris, Jacob (2015) Development and disappointment: Arab approaches to economic modernization in mandate Palestine. In: Schayegh, Cyrus and Arsan, Andrew (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates. Routledge History Handbooks . Routledge, London, pp. 275-290. ISBN 9781317497066

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Abstract

Arab intellectuals in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are well-known for their fascination with notions of progress and modernisation. Much of the historiography to date has examined this strand of thought within the context of political reform, examining the various solutions (liberalist, egalitarian or nationalist), put forward to remedy the ills of a ‘backward’ Arab society. This paper argues there was an equally strong, economic aspect to this reformism that has hitherto been understated in the literature. A firm belief in the need for the modernisation of infrastructure and the exploitation of nature for economic profit was a consistent feature in the writings and pronouncements of Arab reformists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The paper explores the enthusiasm for this type of development in the context of Palestine through the late Ottoman and British periods of rule. If firstly discusses the writings and pronouncements of prominent Palestinian intellectuals and public figures. It then moves on to describe a particular case: the debates over the development of the Dead Sea for mineral extraction. Through this case study the paper argues that the disenfranchisement of a generation of Arab developers-in-waiting constituted a major element of Palestinian opposition to the British Mandate.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
D History General and Old World > DS History of Asia > DS041 Middle East. Southwestern Asia. Ancient Orient. Arab East. Near East
D History General and Old World > DS History of Asia > DS101 Israel (Palestine)
Depositing User: Jacob Norris
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2015 10:40
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2015 10:40
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/54995
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