2 Haziran 2009 Salı


Empires as the dominant (and long-lasting) state form over the known history of the humankind (compared with city states and nation-states)
Empire is characterised by a flexible form of rule because:
- it establishes indirect methods of rule through distinct contracts with each region in the empire
- it exercises power through intermediaries who enjoy autonomy within their domains in return for compliance and delivery of tribute
This flexibility makes it adoptable to different social structures
Imperial expansion could be very rapid
But also disintegration could be very quick because:
- dominated regions are weakly integrated
- regional power holders have the power to defect
- subjugated populations keep distinct identities, memories and grievances
Some consequences of the collapse of old empires (Ottomans, Habsburgs and Romanovs) at the beginning of the 20th century:
1) the disruption of the basic state structure by dividing a single non-national multi-ethnic entity into a number of notionally ‘national’ but in fact equally multi-ethnic states
2) the attempt to turn these plural entities into homogeneous nation-states had high human costs
Middle East after the First World War
Establishment of different territorial states in the former Ottoman provinces under colonial rule (mandate regimes).
Syria and Lebanon (France)
Iraq, Palestine and Trans-Jordan (Britain)
Mandate: Rule under the new principles of the League of Nations (with eventual self determination)
Balfour Declaration of 1917: establishment of a Jewish national home in the region
Uprisings in the 1920s and 1930s (in Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Egypt)
Colonial policy in the region
Establishment of central administrations (bureaucracy, army, new borders, laws)
Alliance with large landowners (e.g. creation of large landowners from tribal leaders in Iraq)
The impact of white settler communities (French in Algeria, European Jews in Palestine)