Essay: Who or What is Responsible for Defining the Nation in the Modern Middle East?

This was my second essay for the module “H130 Introduction to the History of the Near and Middle East” as part of my BA Arabic and Persian course. It was awarded a First.

Marker’s comments:

“This clear and well-researched essay examines the links between European influence and the rise of the state in the modern Middle East. The thesis is clear and supported by argument and analysis based on well-selected secondary sources and evidence from carefully researched primary texts.

I particularly enjoyed the following discussions:

· The essay’s approach to modernity and state building in the case of the Middle East as two overlapping yet different processes

· The explanation of the process of state building within a “nominal relationship between mandatory colonial powers and indigenous communities as teacher-pupil arrangements” (p.2) was spot-on

· The essay provides an excellent analysis of imposed administrative structures on states like Lebanon and Jordan and their political or economic viability.”

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