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Tezler: “The State as a Standard of Civilisation: Assembling the Modern State in Lebanon and Syria, 1800-1944”

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Yazar: Özge Eda Köse

Andrew Delatolla, “The State as a Standard of Civilisation: Assembling the Modern State in Lebanon and Syria, 1800-1944”, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Doktora Tezi, 2017.

This thesis critiques the conceptualisation of the state as a rational product of modernity that places importance on institutional capacity and typological criteria. Tied to this history is a distinct set of knowledges and practices that inform international relations and politics, including those of contemporary development and state building. The expansion of these knowledges and practices through colonialism, imperial modernisation, and global governance have established a global standard of civilisation of statehood that fails to give credence to the specific history of the state in the non-West. This thesis argues that in order to better understand the state in the non-West, it is necessary to examine the process of state formation as one that is linked to colonialism, imperial modernisation, and the advent of global governance, which produced a global standard of civilisation, altering the relationship between the domestic social field in the global peripheries and structures of governance. It traces how colonial knowledges and practices were assembled onto and interacted with preexisting knowledges and practices in the political, economic, and social environments and the consequence of these assembled knowledges and practices. Through the use of archival material triangulated with secondary source histories, the thesis examines the history of state formation in the Middle East, focusing on Lebanon and Syria, previously the Syrian provinces of the Ottoman Empire, from 1800 to 1944. It examines the social, economic, and political transformations that occurred during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Lebanon and Syria; taking into account Ottoman imperial modernisation, European interference and intervention, and the subsequent French mandate.

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