The purpose of this course is to study some basic issues related
to the cultures, societies, and politics of the contemporary Middle
East and North Africa. The modern Middle East emerged out of the
dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War.
The Ottoman Empire was composed of a multitude of social, ethnic,
religious, and linguistic groups, the most important being of
course the Turkish speaking population of Anatolia. Most Arab
societies (Morocco is the only exception) were under Ottoman rule
for four centuries. During this long period, the Ottomans kept
these societies "autonomous" in the sense that there
was no forced process of "integration" of the various
groups from the part of the administration and the state. These
groups had their own "representatives" who acted as
"intermediaries" between the local populations and the
apparatus of the state. Thus, in the case of religious "minorities,"
millets, (Christians, Armenians, and Jews, in particular),
their local representatives were at the same time their religious
leaders who were also responsible for the collection of all kinds
of "minority" taxes. But the majority of the subjects
of the empire were represented by their local notables (a'yân)
who were for the most part based in the cities and who claimed
to be descendants of the Prophet, ashrâf. Such claims
were at the basis of their legitimate domination and accorded
them with tremendous political and economic power. The notables
were indeed mostly urban based tax-farmers, collecting taxes on
state owned lands, mîrî.
The term "decline" is often associated with the Ottoman
Empire. Historians tend to think that since the end of the 16th
century the empire was unable to modernize itself and adapt to
a new Europe whose "universalistic" culture and values
began to manifest a desire for expansion and hegemony. This has
become even more true towards the end of the 18th century, at
the age of Enlightenment, when the French, through the Napoleonic
wars, were exporting the principles of their Revolution to all
Europe, and in 1798 to Egypt.
The picture has become even more intimidating during the first
three decades of the 19th century, at the epoch of the industrial
revolution in Europe. In 1839 and later on in 1856, the Ottomans
promulgated two edicts with the intention to modernize the apparatus
of the state and the societies it controlled. Thus the "minorities"
saw their rights publicly acknowledged for the first time, in
addition to a manifest desire to abolish the tax-farming system,
iltizâm, and a partial "modernization"
of the judicial system and the bureaucracy.
At the end of the First War, and despite an ambitious program of reforms (Tanzîmât), the empire had already been totally dismantled and divided, after the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916, between zones of Russian, British, and French influence. The newly created societies, in their actual political and geographic frameworks, are hence very recent-mostly from the Second World War and after.
In pointing out, during the so-called Gulf War, to the world
community that the Kuwaiti state is nothing but a "fictitious"
construction of the British Mandate, the Iraqis typically omit
to mention that the whole area known as the Fertile Crescent (Lebanon,
Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Jordan) as well as the Arabian peninsula
(Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, and Yemen) are all the product
of British and French colonial policies between the two World
Wars. These societies which were under Ottoman rule for over four
centuries, had their social and economic structures shaped by
the broader policies of the Ottoman Empire. During the colonial
period, and later when their status for "independence"
has been recognized, these societies, previously part of a world-Empire,
found themselves within geographic borders that were soon to be
qualified by their national leaders as "artificial."
The existence of Israel, among others, is still considered as
part of this "artificial" construct, hence "illegitimate"
and alien in the eyes of the local Arab populations.
What the Middle East might be globally witnessing, as we are
heading towards the 21st century, is a development far more important
than a battle for the control of oil resources, and the inter-Arab
struggle between the haves and the haves-not, or the growth and
perseverance of Islamic movements. In fact, such factors might
be only catalysts for deeper historical processes which could
involve the restructuring of the area known as the Fertile Crescent
and the Arabian peninsula into new political, social, and economic
entities. This is not intended as an optimistic statement of any
kind, but more as an agenda for research.
Roughly speaking, in terms of political structures, the above
mentioned geographic area is divided between military dictatorships
(Syria, Iraq, and Yemen), tribal monarchies (Saudi Arabia and
the rest of the Gulf states), a semi-democracy like Lebanon which
collapsed in 1975, the Jordanian buffer-zone-state which only
few years ago completed its first free parliamentary elections
(with a strong presence for the Muslim Brothers), and finally
the democracy of the Jewish state that some analysts do not hesitate
to qualify as "tribal." Since the 1940s it has become
customary for most of these states not to recognize each
other's borders. Lebanon for example has never been officially
recognized by Syria, and the Syrian domination of Lebanon since
1976 probably marks the beginning of a major reshaping of the
political and economic structures of the Levant region. The non-recognition
of Israel by many of its Arab neighbors, even in its pre-1967
borders, is another example of the fragility of the borders and
states left by the colonial powers. And more recently, the Iraqi
invasion and annexation of Kuwait has added a new dimension to
the older conflicts. What in fact the Gulf crisis has shown is
a widening in the gap between tribal monarchies and military dictatorships
in this region.
This gap, often referred to in the media as that between the
haves and the haves-not, is not only caused by an unequal distribution
of wealth among these societies. It is rather related to the differences
in the political structures between the tribal monarchies and
the military dictatorships. Since the beginning of the Gulf War,
there has been an overemphasis in the media and the Pentagon as
to the unexpectedly huge size of Iraq's one million men army.
But this army proved to be largely ineffective and slow during
the war with Iran, and its semi-victory after eight years of heavy
losses did not improve its status considerably. To understand
the role and function of the army in the Arab world one should
not think in terms of military and technological efficacy. These
armies are indeed primarily a powerful tool for social integration
By creating borders between and across tribal, confessional,
and ethnic groups, the mandatory powers not only imposed new barriers
between these groups, but more important, thought they could consecrate
the old divisions by endowing some of the dominating groups with
state powers they hitherto lacked. The result has been the emergence
of military dictatorships which turned out to be a combination
of classical forms of Khaldûnian political power based on
local and regional "group feelings" ('asabiyya)
usually encountered in the majority of Arab/Islamic societies,
and Eastern Bloc types of states. Although the party and the army
play an important role in social integration and enjoy a broad
tribal, ethnic, and confessional basis, this diversification becomes
narrower as we move up in the social hierarchy and the commanding
military and political posts. Thus in Syria and Iraq, key military
and political positions are respectively in the hands of the 'Alawis
and the Sunnis Takritis. Alliances and networks are basically
in terms of marriages restricted between families and clans of
these élite groups. However, it is important to note that
some key positions are also occupied by minorities (Christians,
Kurds, among others), and by individuals outside the dominating
clan (even though from the same ethnic/confessional group).
By contrast, tribal monarchies keep such restrictions to the entire social structure. Not only ministers, but even diplomats who represent the monarchy abroad belong to the same family and clan. (The Kuwaiti and Saudi ambassadors in Washington are examples of this politics.) This is why the army in such societies cannot play a role of "social integration," and their enrollment is limited to soldiers belonging to the dominating tribe and to mercenaries. Thus according to a report published by Le Nouvel Observateur (19-25 July 1990), the Saudi army (65,000 for a population of 13 million) is greatly composed of Moroccan, Egyptian, Jordanian, and Pakistanis mercenaries. An entire unit, the 12th armored division was in 1989 composed of 5,000 Pakistanis soldiers.
How can such a monarchy persevere in its being? Basically, by buying off all its opponents, its foreign residents, and Islamic clerics and institutions all over the world. Thus the Saudi kingdom does not grant its citizenship to the five million foreign workers. This political exclusion, however, is diluted by salaries that used to be among the highest in the Middle East (but much less now since the Saudi state went almost bankrupt since the Gulf war). And this dismissal is not only restricted to foreigners, but also to Saudis who have been trained abroad, and with no immediate links to the ruling family, and who often complain that they are disregarded from the dominant positions and hardly share in political decisions. In short, tribal monarchies have developed a sophisticated form of apartheid and survive only by keeping their social divisions visible, by perpetuating them, with a total lack of long term policies that would develop some form of political participation for the "excluded minorities." By contrast, military dictatorships, even though they do enjoy a much broader support from the army and party, have a dual policy of ideologically denying all kinds of social differences (the "secularism" of the Ba'th), and at the same time playing factions against each other for the perseverance of the state apparatus. Thus although the Iraqi state presents itself as secular and pan-Arab, it fought an eight-year war with Iran with no other purpose but to firmly control and intimidate its 60% Shi'i population, and it used chemical weapons against some of its 25% non-Arab Kurds. The existence of Israel is less an effect of Western colonialism than that of the "policy of minorities" adopted by all Arab states.
Some of the problems outlined above shall be discussed in terms of their respective historical, anthropological, and political dimensions. Rather than a broad survey on the contemporary Middle East, the course shall focus on few "case histories."
There are weekly readings that we'll discuss collectively in
class. Your participation is essential for the success of the
course. You might be also occasionally requested to prepare a
presentation on a chapter or book which are part of the weekly
assignments. Presentations should be improvised and 5 to 10 minutes
long. Do not prepare a written presentation. You're also requested,
after submission of a first-draft, to make a short presentation
of your term-paper.
Besides the two-draft research paper (see below the section on papers), you're expected to submit three interpretive essays. The final grade will be calculated on the basis of one-fifth for each paper draft and one-fifth for each interpretive essay. All interpretive essays are take-home and you'll be given a week to submit them. The purpose of the interpretative essays is to give you the opportunity to go "beyond" the literal meaning of the text and adopt interpretive and "textual" techniques. A failing grade in all interpretive essays means also a failing grade for the course, whatever your performance in the paper is. All essays and papers must be submitted on time according to the deadlines set below.
First Interpretive Essay 20%
Second Interpretive Essay 20%
Final Interpretive Essay 20%
Preliminary paper draft 20%
Term Paper: 20%
In case the term paper grade is superior to the preliminary draft, it will count as 40%.
· Weeks 1, 2, 3: January 24 & 31, February 7
Marshall Hodgson, Venture of Islam, vol. 3 (Chicago).
February 7: FIRST INTERPRETIVE ESSAY
· Weeks 4 & 5: February 14 & 21
Roger Owen, State, Power and Politics in the Making of the Modern Middle East (Routledge).
· Week 6: February 28
Lisa Wedeen, Ambiguities of Domination (Chicago).
February 28: SECOND INTERPRETIVE ESSAY
March 5-10: mid-semester break
· Weeks 7 & 8: March 14 & 21
Walter Armbrust, Mass Culture and Modernism in Egypt (Cambridge).
· Weeks 9 & 10: March 28 & April 4
Diane Singerman, Avenues of Participation (Princeton).
March 28: FIRST DRAFT DEADLINE
· Weeks 11 & 12: April 11 & 18
Owen & Pamuk, A History of Middle East Economies in the Twentieth Centuries (Harvard).
April 18: FINAL INTERPRETIVE ESSAY
· Week 13: April 25
Discussion and presentation of term-papers
(if you're unable to meet for this last session, make an appointment: you'll not receive a grade unless you've completed a presentation of your paper.)
April 25: FINAL DRAFT DEADLINE
submit your final draft with your preliminary corrected one
You are requested to write one major research paper to be submitted
during the last session, Wednesday, April 25. You will have to
submit, however, a first draft of this paper on Wednesday, March
28. The first draft should be as complete as possible and follow
the same presentation and writing guidelines as your final draft,
and it will count as 20% of your total grade unless the final
draft is of superior quality. The purpose of the first draft is
to let you assess your research and writing skills and improve
the final version of your paper. It is advisable that you choose
a research topic and start preparing a bibliography as soon as
possible. I would strongly recommend that you consult with me
before making any final commitment. It would be preferable to
keep the same topic for both drafts. You will be allowed, however,
after prior consultation, to change your topic if you wish to
You may choose any topic related to the social, economic, political, and cultural history of Islam and the Middle East since the prophetic mission in the 7th century A.D. until the rise of the Ottomans and the latest developments of this century. Papers should be analytical and conceptual. Avoid pure narratives and chronologies and construct your paper around a main thesis.
Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 5th ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. Intended for students and other writers of papers not written for publication. Useful material on notes and bibliographies.
Keep in mind the following when preparing your preliminary and final drafts:
Please use the following guidelines regarding the format of all five papers:
use 8x10 white paper (the size and color of this paper). Do not use legal size or colored paper.
use a typewriter, laser printer or a good inkjet printer and hand in the original.
only type on one side of the paper.
should be double spaced, with single spaced footnotes at the end of each page and an annotated bibliography at the end.
keep ample left and right margins for comments and corrections of at least 1.25 inches each.
all pages should be numbered and stapled.
a cover page should include the following: paper's title, course number and section, your name, address, e-mail, and telephone.
E-MAIL DISCUSSION LIST
An open e-mail discussion list is available: each message-whether mine or from any student-will reach anyone else on the list, so that every subscriber could directly write to the list.
You should subscribe to this list as soon as possible, preferably
by the first week of classes.
The forum list is free speech and not subject to any censorship: each message is posted directly and not subject to review from the list's coordinator. The contents of the messages are the own responsibility of their authors.
Updates on the syllabus-in particular on the readings-will be posted whenever necessary.
Discussions on the weekly readings and the interpretive essays are particularly encouraged.
You're expected to post at least one message regarding your term-paper so that everyone knows what others are working on (see supra the section on papers regarding the content of your message).
All other messages not directly related to the course, whatever their nature, are also welcomed.
The list will be kept for an additional semester once the course is over by May. To unsubscribe, follow the instructions below.
To join the list, please send an e-mail message to:
and include as your e-mail message (leaving the Subject: field blank, if possible):
subscribe H313-L first-name last-name
e.g., Janine Doe-you would type in:
subscribe H313-L Janine Doe
GroupWise Users at Loyola University Chicago: Please preface the 'listproc' address (or subscription address) with 'internet:' in the To: field. For example:
Once you've successfully subscribed (you'll receive a confirmation message with instructions), send all messages to the list's address:
Your message will be automatically forwarded to all the list's subscribers. You should also receive a duplicate of your own message.
To unsubscribe send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following message:
unsubscribe h313-l first-name last-name
Do not send any mail to my private address <email@example.com>, except for appointments or personal problems regarding the course. Suggestions for term-papers topics should be posted directly at the class-list.
Problems in joining the list? Questions? Send an e-mail to Brian Kinne <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
NOTES FROM IT SERVICES:
From: "Jack Corliss, Loyola University Chicago" <email@example.com>
Please note that about 96% of all registered students have
e-mail accounts, on the GroupWise e-mail system (university e-mail
system). We no longer encourage students to obtain Orion accounts
unless they plan to do personal web page design and development.
Of course, students can use whatever e-mail account they have to subscribe and post to the class discussion list including AOL and Entereact. If you want to send attachments to the students on the list then they should find out their e-mail system handles attachments.
You should also know that as of May 1997, anyone using the computer workstations in any of the University computing centers and public-access labs are required to have university network access account (which we call the UVID). This is required whether the student plans to access the Internet resources, their GroupWise or Orion e-mail, use word-processing to write their papers, whatever.
Therefore, students are assigned these accounts automatically. However, if a student does not remember his or her university network access account/password, and registered late this year, then the student will need to go to the computing center to have the password reassigned or a network access account set up (usually takes 24 hours).
Please note that some students may know this network access account as the GroupWise account and password-an unfortunate nomenclature-but most likely this is one and the same. Previously, we referred to these as GroupWise accounts but now we are calling them university IDs (or UVID), or university network access accounts.
The computing centers have had to deal with this last semester, so please do not hesitate to refer any students to the computing centers for assistance, or they can call the Help Desk at 4-4444 and the Help Desk staff will re-assign a network access password.
The following bibliography is highly selective and only restricted to books and articles which in a way or another are representative of a particular historical or sociological/anthropological trend. Students are thus encouraged, when writing their papers, to use more extensive bibliographies related to the topics they are dealing with. Some of the books for our weekly discussion sessions include such bibliographies. (It would better if you discuss with me your papers' topics before you start writing.)
1. Islam & The Early Empires-General
The Qur'ân is the holy book of the Muslims (in all their different factions and sects) delivered by God in Arabic to the community of believers (umma) through the "medium" of the Prophet Muhammad in sessions of "revelation" (wahî). Thus Arabic is not only the language of the Qur'ân (and the Sunna), but also a divine language, the language of God. All translations of the Qur'ân are thus considered as illegitimate and inaccurate. There are several such "translations"/"interpretations" available. A classical one would be that of A.J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (Oxford University Press). For a recent "reading" of the Qur'ân, see Jacques Berque, Relire le Coran (Paris: Albin Michel, 1993).
R. Stephen Humphreys, Islamic History. A Framework for Inquiry
(Princeton University Press, 1991), is a long annotated and commented
bibliography thematically organized. Recommended for all those
looking at the best in the field for sources available in English,
French and German. Some references to primary sources, mainly
Arabic medieval sources, are also included. The problem with this
"inquiry" is that it excludes from its field of investigation
all publications in modern Arabic, as well as Turkish and Persian.
In short, this book is an excellent tool for a primary survey
on the status of the Middle Eastern Studies field in Europe and
Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, 3 vols. (Chicago University Press, 1974), is a landmark study on the "origins" of Islam and its historical evolution into empires. Recommended for those interested in Islam within a comparative religious and geographical perspective.
Ira Lapidus, A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988), is a complete fourteen-century history of Islamic societies. Chapters vary in depth and horizon. No particular focus-Tedious to read.
Bernard Lewis (ed.), The World of Islam (London: Thames and Hudson, 1976), is a thematically organized book with chapters on literature, jurisprudence, sufism, the cities, the Ottoman and modern experiences. Includes hundreds of illustrations and maps.
Watt, W. M., Muhammad at Mecca (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953); Muhammad at Medina (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956), both are classics describing the life of the Prophet and his first achievements in Mecca and Medina.
Franz Rozenthal, A History of Muslim Historiography (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1952); 2d rev. ed., 1968.
Roy Mottahedeh, Loyalty and Leadership in an Early Islamic Society (Princeton University Press, 1980), an excellent book, based on primary sources from Southern Iraq that describe the process and concept of bay'a in early Islamic thought.
Hugh Kennedy, The Early Abbasid Caliphate: A Political History (London: Croom Helm, 1981).
Jacob Lassner, The Shaping of Abbasid Rule (Princeton University Press, 1980).
Lassner, Jacob, Islamic Revolution and Historical Memory: An Inquiry into the Art of 'Abbâsid Apologetics (American Oriental Series, number 66.) New Haven: American Oriental Society. 1986.
The History of al-Tabarî (State University of New York Press, 1989), is a multi-volume series of the translation of the "History" of Tabarî, one of the major historians and interpreters of the Qur'ân of the early Islamic and empire periods.
al-Shâfi'î, Risâla. Treatise on the Foundations of Islamic Jurisprudence, translated by Majid Khadduri (Islamic Texts Society, 1987). Shâfi'î was the founding father of one of the four major schools of Sunni jurisprudence and the Risâla contains some of his major theoretical foundations on the notions analogy, qiyâs, and the ijmâ', consensus of the community.
Martin Lings, Muhammad. His Life Based on the Earliest Sources (Rochester, 1983).
Newby, Gordon Darnell, The Making of the Last Prophet: A Reconstruction of the Earliest Biography of Muhammad (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989).
Maxime Rodinson, Muhammad (Pantheon, 1971), is an interesting interpretation of the early Islamic period based on a social and economic analysis of the Arabian Peninsula at the dawn of Islam.
M. A. Shaban, Islamic History. A New Interpretation, 2 vol. (Cambridge University Press, 1971), is an attempt towards a new interpretation of the 'Abbâsid Revolution of the eight century as a movement of assimilation of Arabs and non-Arabs into an "equal rights" Empire.
Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Cambridge, 1991). See also the great classic of Joseph Schacht, The Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950).
Ignaz Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law (Princeton University Press, 1981).
Fred Donner, The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton University Press, 1981), reconstructs the early Islamic Conquests (futûhât) from a wealth of Arabic chronicles and literary and ethnographic sources.
Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago University Press, 1988), discusses the notion of "government" and "politics" in Islamic societies.
Ann Lambton, Continuity and Change in Medieval Persia. Aspects of Administrative, Economic and Social History, 11th-14th Century (The Persian Heritage Foundation, 1988).
Dominique Urvoy, Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (Routledge, 1991). Henry Corbin, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (Princeton University Press, 1960), is an analysis and interpretation of Hayy ibn Yaqzân.
Salma Khadra Jayyusi, editor, The Legacy of Muslim Spain (Leiden: Brill, 1993). See also L. P. Harvey, Islamic Spain, 1250 to 1500 (Chicago University Press, 1990).
2. The Ottoman Empire
For a general social history of The Ottoman Empire, see H.A.R. Gibb and Harold Bowen, Islamic Society and the West, Volume One, 2 parts (London: Oxford University Press, 1950-57).
For a general chronological history of the Ottoman Empire, see Stanford Shaw & Ezel Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, 2 vols., (Cambridge, 1977). See also M. A. Cook (ed.), A History of the Ottoman Empire to 1730 (Cambridge University Press, 1976).
Paul Wittek, The Rise of the Ottoman Empire (London, 1963). A short monograph on the nature of early Ottoman expansion.
For a narrative account of the rise of the Ottoman Empire viewed from the standpoint of historical geography, see Donald Edgar Pitcher, An Historical Geography of the Ottoman Empire. From earliest times to the end of the Sixteenth Century with detailed maps to illustrate the expansion of the Sultanate (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972).
George Young, Corps de droit ottoman, 7 vol. (Oxford, 1905-6) contains selections from the Ottoman judicial code.
· GENERAL HISTORIES
Robert Mantran (ed.), Histoire de l'Empire ottoman (Paris: Fayard, 1989).
Barbara Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973).
Halil Inalcik, The Ottoman Empire (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1973).
Norman Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition (New York: Knopf, 1972)
Peter Mansfield, The Ottoman Empire and Its Successors (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973).
William Miller, The Ottoman Empire and Its Successors, 1801-1927 (New York: Octagon Books, 1966).
Smith William Cooke, The Ottoman Empire and Its Tributary States (Chicago: Argonot, 1968).
· THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE IN THE INTER-STATE SYSTEM
Alexander H. de Groot, The Ottoman Empire and the Dutch Republic (Leiden, 1978).
Leopold von Ranke, The Ottoman and the Spanish Empires in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (New York: AMS Press, 1975).
Gustav Bayerle, Ottoman Diplomacy in Hungary (Bloomington: Indiana University, 1972).
J. C. Hurewitz, Diplomacy in the Near and Middle East. A Documentary Record, 2 vol. (Princeton, 1956), contains a selection of administrative documents, edicts, and treaties since 1535.
· WORLD-SYSTEM THEORY
There has been numerous studies within the last two decades that describe in economic terms how the Ottoman societies have reacted to what is now known as the process of "incorporation" of the Ottoman Empire in the world-economy. Despite their merits, "world-systems" analyses are weak in understanding and interpreting cultures and social structures. See for example, Immanuel Wallerstein & Resat Kasaba, "Incorporation into the World-Economy: Change in the Structure of the Ottoman Empire,1750-1839," in J.-L. Bacqué-Grammont & Paul Dumont, eds., Économie et sociétés dans l'Empire ottoman (Paris: CNRS, 1983), 335-54. Some of the most recent titles in "world-systems" include the following:
Huri Islamoglu-Inan, ed., The Ottoman Empire and the World-Economy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988).
Caglar Keyder, ed., Ottoman Empire: Nineteenth-Century Transformations, in Review, 11(1988).
Caglar Keyder, State and Class in Turkey: A Study in Capitalist Development (London & New York: Verso, 1987).
Resat Kasaba, The Ottoman Empire and the World Economy: The 19th Century (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1988).
Pamuk, Sevket, The Ottoman Empire and European Capitalism,1820-1913: Trade, Investment, and Production (Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987).
· SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC HISTORY
Halil Inalcik, Studies in Ottoman Social and Economic History (London: Variorum Reprints, 1985), is a reproduction of a series of articles on the "beginnings" of the Ottoman Empire, the impact of the Annales school on Ottoman historiography, etc., by a leading figure in the field of Ottoman studies. See also by the same author his collected studies under the title The Ottoman Empire: Conquest, Organization and Economy (London: Variorum Reprints, 1978).
Halil Inalcik, "Military and Fiscal Transformation of the Ottoman Empire, 1600-1700," Archivum Ottomanicum, 6(1980), 283-337, reproduced in Inalcik (1985), discusses the transformation of the Ottoman tax-farming system from the timâr to the iltizâm. See also Bruce McGowan, Economic Life in Ottoman Europe. Taxation, Trade and the Struggle for Land, 1600-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 1981).
Kemal H. Karpat, Ottoman Population: Demographic and Social Characteristics (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1985). This book attempts, on the basis of original archive materials, to show the demographic dimension of Middle Eastern and Balkan societies under Ottoman rule in the 19th century. See the review of Inalcik in IJMES, 21/3 (1989).
Ömer Lutfi Barkan, "The Price Revolution of the Sixteenth Century: A Turning Point in the Economic History of the Near East," IJMES, 6(1975), 3-28. A classical article which analyzes the effects of one of the first debasements of the Ottoman currency in the 16th century.
Uriel Heyd, Studies in Old Ottoman Criminal Law, ed. by V. L. Ménage (Oxford, 1973) discusses, among others, the relation between the Islamic sharî'a and the Ottoman qânûn.
Benjamin Braude & Bernard Lewis (eds.), Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Functioning of a Plural Society. Volume 1, The Central Lands; Volume 2, The Arabic-Speaking Lands. (New York, 1982), contains a wide range of articles on "minority" groups in the Ottoman Empire.
On women in the Ottoman Empire, see Fanny Davis, The Ottoman Lady. A Social History from 1718 to 1918 (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986).
Ehud R. Toledano, The Ottoman Slave Trade and Its Suppression (Princeton University Press, 1982), stresses the key role of the British in the elimination of the trade in black slaves from Africa and the importance of the Ottoman's own actions in abolishing trade in white slaves from the lands around the Black Sea.
Suraiya Faroqhi, Towns and Townsmen of Ottoman Anatolia. Trade, Crafts and Food Production in an Urban Setting, 1520-1650 (Cambridge University Press, 1984).
Charles Issawi, Economic History of Turkey (Chicago, 1980), is an account, mainly based on the European consular correspondence of the 19th century, of the Turkish economy during the period of Western colonialism and imperialism.
Gabriel Baer, "The Administrative, Economic and Social Functions of Turkish Guilds," IJMES, 1(1970), 28-50. Haim Gerber, "Guilds in Seventeenth-Century Anatolian Bursa," Asian and African Studies (AAS), 11(1976), 59-86. Orhan Kurmus, "Some Aspects of Handicraft and Industrial Production in Ottoman Anatolia, 1800-1915," AAS, 15(1981), 85-101. Edward C. Clark, "The Ottoman Industrial Revolution," IJMES, 5(1974), 65-76. Bernard Lewis, "The Islamic Guilds," Economic History Review, 8(1937), 20-37.
Jacques Thobie, Intérêts et impérialisme français dans l'empire Ottoman (Paris, 1977) focuses on the effects of French imperialism on the Ottoman Empire in general and on some Arab Provinces in particular (Syria and Lebanon).
· THE STATE, IDEOLOGY, & RELIGION
Serif Mardin, The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought (Princeton University Press,1962) studies the effects of Western "liberal" thought on the Ottoman intelligentsia of the 19th century and the "origins" of the Tanzimât reforms of 1839. See also by the same author, "Ideology and Religion in the Turkish Revolution," International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES), 2(1971), 197-211. See also R. C. Repp, The Müfti of Istanbul: A Study in the Development of the Ottoman Learned Hierarchy (London: Ithaca, 1986) and J. R. Barnes, An Introduction to Religious Foundations in the Ottoman Empire (Leiden: E.J. Brill,1986). Richard L. Chambers, "The Ottoman Ulema and the Tanzimat" in Nikki R. Keddie (ed.), Scholars, Saints, and Sufis: muslim Religious Institutions Since 1500 (Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972).
Cornell H. Fleisher, Bureaucrat and Intellectual in the Ottoman Empire: The Historian Mustafa Ali, 1546-1600 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986). The Ottoman 16th century through the eyes of the historian Mustafa Ali. See the critical review article (especially on the much debated issue of "decline") by Rhoads Murphey, "Mustafa Ali and the Politics of Cultural Despair," IJMES, 21(1989), 243-255; idem, Regional Structure in the Ottoman Economy (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1987). A Sultanic memorandum of 1636 A.D. concerning the sources and uses of the tax-farm revenues of Anatolia and the coastal and northern portions of Syria.
Cornell H. Fleisher, "Royal Authority, Dynastic Cyclism, and 'Ibn Khaldûnism' in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Letters," Journal of Asian and African Studies, 18/3-4(1983), 198-220.
Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey (Oxford University Press, 1968) A survey of the first Turkish pan-movements till the proclamation of the Turkish Republic and its aftermath. See also Uriel Heyd, Foundations of Turkish Nationalism (Westport, Conn.: Hyperion Press, 1979).
Kemal H. Karpat, "The Transformations of the Ottoman State, 1789-1908," IJMES, 3(1972), 243-81.
Carter Findley, Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire. The Sublime Porte, 1789-1922 (Princeton University Press, 1980); idem, Ottoman Civil Officialdom. A Social History (Princeton University Press, 1989) reassesses Ottoman accomplishments and failures in turning an archaic scribal corps into an effective civil service.
For a political anthropology of the Ottoman Empire and the cultural barriers for its development, see Ilkay Sunar, State and Society in the Politics of Turkey's Development (Ankara, 1974).
3. The Arab Provinces. General.
The work of Charles Issawi gives the best synthesis of the economic development of the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt). Among his numerous works, Economic History of the Middle East (Chicago, 1966), Economic History of the Middle East and North Africa (New York, 1982), The Fertile Crescent, 1800-1914, A Documentary Economic History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988).
Another excellent work of economic synthesis is Roger Owen's The Middle East in the World Economy (London: Methuen, 1981).
William Polk & Richard Chambers, eds., Beginnings of Modernization in the Middle East (Chicago, 1968) contains some key articles by Karpat, Chevallier, Berque, Hourani, and others. Highly recommended.
4. Syria, Lebanon, & Palestine
The Lebanese historiography did not progress much beyond the classical works of Chevallier (1971), Harik (1968), and Smilyanskaya (1965), despite a number of interesting recent publications in the field.
Dominique Chevallier, La société du mont Liban à l'époque de la révolution industrielle en Europe (Paris, 1971) is a complete study on the economic, cultural, and political effects of the industrial revolution on Mount Lebanon during the 19th century. See also by the same author, Villes et travail en Syrie, du XIXe au XXe siècle (Paris, 1982).
Iliya Harik, Politics and Change in a Traditional Society, Lebanon, 1711-1845 (Princeton, N. J., 1968), is very powerful in analyzing the cultural transformations of the societies of Mount Lebanon. The chapters on the process of "rationalization" (in the sense of Weber) of the Maronite Church are among the best in the field.
I. M. Smilyanskaya's thesis, Krestyanskoe dvizhenie v Livane (Moscow,1965), is unfortunately only available in the original Russian with a complete Arabic translation (Beirut, 1971). Some chapters are translated in English in Issawi (1966 & 1988). Smilyanskaya's thesis is an attempt to explain the peasant's movements of the 19th century in terms of class struggle rather than inter-confessional struggles.
Boutros Labaki, Introduction à l'histoire économique du Liban (Beirut,1984), focuses mainly on the production of silk in Mount Lebanon during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Leila Fawaz, Merchants and Migrants in Nineteenth Century Beirut (Cambridge, Mass., 1983), covers the rapid evolution of Beirut during the 19th century from a small provincial town to a key commercial city.
William Polk, The Opening of South Lebanon (Cambridge, Mass., 1963), is another classical study of Mount Lebanon.
Mikhâyil Mishâqa, Murder, Mayhem, Pillage, and Plunder. The History of the Lebanon in the 18th and 19th Centuries, translated from the Arabic by Wheeler M. Thackston, Jr. (Albany: State University of New York Press,1988), is a 19th century chronicle by Mishâqa (1800-1888) who among other things served as financial comptroller to the Shihâb emirs of Hâsbayyâ and in his later years was a physician and consul to the United States in Damascus.
Thomas Philipp, The Syrians in Egypt, 1725-1975 (Stuttgart, 1985), discusses the immigration of Syrians (mainly Christians) to Egypt starting with the Ottoman period.
A.L. Tibawi, American Interests in Syria (Oxford, 1961), analyzes the role and function of the Protestant missionaries in Syria from the 1820s till the opening of the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut in 1866.
Abraham Marcus, The Middle East on the Eve of Modernity. Aleppo in the Eighteenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), would be interesting to compare with Brown, People of Salé concerning the social and economic structures of Arab/Islamic cities. See also Bruce Masters, The Origins of Western Economic Dominance in the Middle East. Mercantilism and the Islamic Economy in Aleppo, 1600-1750 (New York University Press, 1988).
Karl K. Barbir, Ottoman Rule in Damascus, 1708-1758 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), focuses on the politics of the notables during the 18th century, the governorship of the 'Azm, and the political and economic importance of the pilgrimage for Damascus.
Philip Khouri, Urban Notables and Arab Nationalism (Cambridge, 1983), discusses the formation, during the Tanzimât period and after the Land Code of 1858, of provincial bureaucracies composed mainly of Damascene land-owners belonging to the traditional notable's class.
Linda Schatkowski Schilcher, Families in Politics. Damascene Factions and Estates of the 18th and 19th Centuries (Stuttgart, 1985), is a more complete version of Khouri's thesis on Damascus. Her division of the city in three "conflicting" parts and the maps provided are the best parts of the book.
William Polk (ed.), "Document: Rural Syria in 1845," Middle East Journal, 16(1962), 508-14.
Roger Owen, ed., Studies in the Economic and Social History of Palestine in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Carbondale, Ill., 1982), contains a series of well written articles on the effects of foreign investments in Palestine.
Neville J. Mandel, The Arabs and Zionism Before World War I (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976) focuses on the Arab and Ottoman reactions (mainly by leading politicians and intellectuals) to Jewish immigration to Palestine during the last four decades of Ottoman rule.
Kenneth Stein, The Land Question in Palestine,1917-1939 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1984) is in some aspects a complementary study to Mandel's Arabs and Zionism. Highly recommended for those interested in the social and economic dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict. See also Gershon Shafir, Land and Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,1882-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 1989).
David Kushner (ed.), Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period (Jerusalem-Leiden, 1986), has a number of interesting articles on the economy of Palestine at the turn of this century. Problems related to the demography, the system of iltizâm, and the waqf (Gabriel Baer), are well covered. See also Moshe Ma'oz (ed.), Studies on Palestine During the Ottoman Period (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1975). On the Jews of the Arab Provinces of the Ottoman Empire, see Norman A. Stillman, The Jews of the Arab Lands. A History and Source Book (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1979).
Gabriel Baer, "The Dismemberment of Awqâf in Early 19th Century Jerusalem," AAS, 13(1979), 220-41. This article, based on the law-court registers of Jerusalem, shows that the process of the "dismemberment" of the waqf is only a judicial device to transform it to the status of a quasi private property.
Philip Matar, The Mufti of Jerusalem. al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni and the Palestinian National Movement (Studies of the Middle East Institute, 1988), offers a comprehensive biography of Muhammad Amin al-Husayni, the principle leader of Palestinian nationalism during the British Mandate.
Muhammad Muslih, The Origins of Palestinian Nationalism (Institute for Palestine Studies, 1988).
Justin McCarthy, The Population of Palestine. Population Statistics of the Late Ottoman Period and the Mandate (Institute for Palestine Studies, 1990), shows that Arabs were a large majority in Palestine up to 1947.
Avi Shlaim, The Politics of Partition. King Abdullah, The Zionists, and Palestine, 1912-1951 (Columbia University Press, 1990), focuses on the secret Arab-Zionist agreement to partition Palestine.
Zouhair Ghazzal, L'économie politique de Damas durant le XIXe siècle. Structures traditionnelles et capitalisme (Damascus: Institut Français de Damas, 1993).
Hanna Batatu, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary
Movements of Iraq (Princeton University Press, 1978), covers
extensively the rise and fall of the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP)
in the 1940s in the second part of the book, while the first part
is an introduction to the Iraqi society from a profile of its
landowning and other social "classes." Finally, a third
part deals, though less extensively than for the Communists, with
the formation of the Ba'th and the coming to power of Saddâm
Husayn. The three parts seem like three different narratives without
a major thread to bring them together. Extensive use of the Foreign
Office archives that the British left in Iraq.
Samir al-Khalil, Republic of Fear. The Inside Story of Saddam's Iraq (Pantheon, 1989), analyses the logic of Iraqi "totalitarianism." Important insights on the ideology of the Ba'th party, its organization, and its links with other state organizations such as the army, the mukhâbarât, etc. See also by the same author, The Monument. Art, Vulgarity and Responsibility in Iraq (University of California Press, 1991).
Roy Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet. Religion and Politics in Iran (Pantheon, 1985), is an analysis of some of the main intellectual movements in Iran prior and during the Islamic Revolution in 1978 as seen through the eyes of a "character" under the pseudonym of Ali Hashemi. However, despite this focus on the education and becoming of a single Iranian 'âlim, the overall point of the book remains unclear.
Serif Mardin, Religion and Social Change in Modern Turkey. The Case of Bediüzzaman Said Nursi (SUNY, 1989), raises the question of religious fundamentalism in Turkey through the case of Said Nursi and his movement.
André Raymond's seminal work Artisans et commerçants au Caire au 18ème siècle (Damascus, 1973-4) in 2 volumes is a must for the economic history of Egypt during the 18th century. Compare with Marcus (1989) and Brown (1976) on the concept of Arab/Islamic cities.
For the 19th century and in particular the Muhammad Ali experience in "modernization," a revisionist work is Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot, Egypt in the Reign of Muhammad Ali (Cambridge, 1984).
Judith Tucker, Women in Nineteenth Century Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 1985), discusses the problems in the historiography of women in Middle Eastern societies.
Bryon Cannon, Politics of Law and the Courts in Nineteenth-Century Egypt (University of Utah Press, 1988), explores the interaction between local and international factors, both political and economic, that affected the establishment of an effective civil and criminal court system in Egypt during the last decades of the nineteenth century.
Timothy Mitchell, Colonising Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 1988), examines the peculiar methods of order and truth that characterize the modern West through a re-reading of Europe's colonial impact on 19th century Egypt.
Beinin, Joel and Zachary Lockman, Workers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam, and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987).
Peter Gran, Islamic Roots of Capitalism. Egypt, 1760-1840 (University of Texas Press, 1979). Gran's main hypothesis is that the output of the 'ulamâ' marked "developments in secular culture and were supportive of capitalism."
Gabriel Baer, Egyptian Guilds in Modern Times (Jerusalem, 1964).
Juan R.I. Cole, Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East. Social and Cultural Origins of Egypt's 'Urabi Movement (Princeton University Press, 1993), focuses on the 'Urâbî movement as a broadly based social revolution hardly underway when it was cut off by the British. A challenge to traditional élite-centered theories.
9. The Maghreb
What is interesting in the Moroccan case is that this society has not been subject to Ottoman rule. Hence it could be used as a background for a comparative analysis with the Ottoman societies.
Abdallah Laroui's Les origines sociales et culturelles du nationalisme marocain,1830-1912 (Paris: Maspero, 1977), is a monumental study on how the idea of Moroccan "nationalism" evolved through the existence of "internal" institutions (mainly the Makhzen). Highly recommended.
Schroeter, Daniel J., Merchants of Essaouira: Urban Society and Imperialism in Southwestern Morocco, 1844-1886 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988). An account of Essaouira in its heyday, as the city was opening to foreign penetration, sheds light on the problems of traditional societies in the age of European economic imperialism. Compare with the classical study of Kenneth L. Brown, People of Salé. Tradition and Change in a Moroccan City, 1830-1930 (Harvard University Press, 1976).
Edmund Burke III, "The Moroccan Ulama, 1860-1912: An Introduction" in Nikki R. Keddie (ed.), Scholars, Saints, and Sufis: Muslim Religious Institutions Since 1500 (Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972).
Carl L. Brown, The Tunisia of Ahmad Bey, 1837-1855 (Princeton University Press, 1974).
Peter Von Sivers, "The Realm of Justice: Apocaliptic Revolts in Algeria (1849-1879), Humaniora Islamica, 1(1973), 47-60.
10. The Modern Middle East Within an Anthropological & Historical Perspectives
Roger Owen, State, Power and Politics in the Making of the
Modern Middle East (Routledge, 1992), presents the state,
society, religion and the military within a comparative perspective.
Dale F. Eickelman, The Middle East. An Anthropological Approach, 2nd. ed. (Prentice-Hall, 1981, 1989), covers a wide variety of topics from the villages and cities to self, gender and sexuality. Depth of treatment varies from one chapter to another-some chapters, like the one on the cities, are purely disappointing while others fail to come up with an approach from the multitude of secondary studies that the author relies on. A crucial book for an overview on the current state of anthropological literature on the Middle East.
Pierre Bourdieu, The Logic of Practice (Stanford University Press, 1990), originally published in Paris as Le sens pratique (1980), is a pioneering study on the social "practices" of the Kabyles in Algeria, based on a field work in the 1950s, and with tremendous philosophical, epistemological and anthropological implications. Recommended for those who would like to take account of the most recent discoveries in the "social sciences," and most notably anthropology and combine them with their own historical findings.
Dresch, Paul, Tribes, Government and History in Yemen (Oxford University Press, 1990).
Goldberg, Harvey E., Jewish Life in Muslim Libya: Rivals and relatives (Chicago University Press, 1990).
Haeri, Shahla, Law of Desire: Temporary Marriage in Iran (Tauris, 1990), on the status of women and the types of marriages (in particular the mut'a, pleasure marriage) in contemporary Iran.
Rosen, Lawrence, The Anthropology of Justice: Law as Culture in Islamic Society (Cambridge UP, 1989), is an important study on the practice of law in Morocco. Rosen starts with the basic assumption that law in every society is part of the cultural system, and then proceeds to show that "bargaining" is an essential "concept" towards an understanding of the "practice" of Islamic law. A breakthrough in the study of law in general.
Brinkley Messick, The Calligraphic State. Textual Domination and History in a Muslim Society (California University Press, 1992), discusses the transmission, conservation and interpretation of the fiqh (jurisprudence) literature from one generation to another in the context of an Islamic society like Yemen. Focuses on details that historians usually avoid. Recommended for those interested in history within an anthropological perspective.
Michael Fischer and Mehdi Abedi, Debating Muslims. Cultural Dialogues in Postmodernity and Tradition (Wisconsin University Press, 1990). Written in a post-modernist Derridean style, this book is supposed to show that all kinds of Islamic practices wherever they're located are always in a permanent process of adaptation and re-adaptation to the social realities of a particular period. This is done through a re-assessment of the previous mainly "textual" traditions. Thus, according to our authors, it is the various hermeneutical traditions that save Islam (or any other religion for that matter) from any dogmatism-even though they note a fear of différance in the Islamic traditions. Shortly prior to publication, the authors have added an annex on Salman Rushdi's The Satanic Verses which is probably the best thing ever written on this highly controversial book. For one thing, the authors show quite convincingly that Rushdi's knowledge of his "Islamic material" was very close to the "authoritative sources" of Islam.
Smadar Lavie, The Poetics of Military Occupation. Mzeina Allegories of Bedouin Identity Under Israeli and Egyptian Rule (California University Press, 1990). This book, based on extensive fieldwork on the South Sinai desert, borrows several post-modernist and deconstructionist approaches from literary criticism and creatively applies them to the Mzeina Bedouins. Thus the book is constructed around several "allegorical characters"-the Shaykh, the mad-woman, the old-woman, the ex-smuggler, and the "one who writes about us," i.e. the author herself who had decided at one point to leave the Bedouins and write about them at Berkeley. The "allegorical characters" are supposed to show the Bedouins-in-transition between their old kinship and survival oriented ideology towards "modernity," i.e. the male Bedouins as part of a cheap and under-paid Israeli labor-force. Her text is inserted with large "dialogues"-or "interviews"-to emphasize the author's "textual" approach: translate practices into "texts" with meaning.
Lila Abu-Lughod, Veiled Sentiments. Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society (University of California Press, 1986), reflects on the politics of sentiment and the relationship between ideology and human experience.
Virginia R. Domínguez, People as Subject, People as Object. Selfhood and Peoplehood in Contemporary Israel (Wisconsin University Press).
11. Gender, Women, The Family & Sexuality
Lois Beck and Nikki Keddie, eds., Women in the Muslim World (Cambridge University Press, 1978).