Konferenz über die Mandate des Völkerbundes

CFP: The Mandate States in Global Perspective (Princeton, September 2013)

Princeton University, 20-22 September 2013

League of Nations Photo Collection: Die Mandatskommission des Völkerbundes

This conference sets out to examine new perspectives on the tangled histories of the Mandatory states that emerged in the mashriq in the wake of the Great War. Furthermore, it proposes situating them within a more extensive chronological and spatial framework, tracing the protracted and fraught transition from late Ottoman to Mandatory rule, and placing this within broader debates on political and cultural life in the world beyond Europe, the changing nature of imperialism, and the international system in the early twentieth century.

The three decades from the outbreak of World War I to the end of French and British Mandatory rule in the 1940s were a formative period for the new states that emerged from the embers of the Ottoman empire in the Arabic-speaking mashriq: in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria alike, populations moved – and were moved – about, constructing new collective identities and confronting new categorizations; borders were drawn and redrawn; and institutions formed and reformed, leaving a troublesome legacy which still endures, for better or worse, across the region. Despite its significance, the last large-scale collective work on this period – The British and French Mandates in Comparative Perspective, edited by Peter Sluglett and Nadine Méouchy – is now almost a decade old. Scholarship on the Mandatory states of the Middle East has flourished in the intervening years into an expanding and rapidly evolving field.

This conference seeks to take stock of these changes, and to stimulate further development. Furthermore, its organizers wish to foster dialogue between scholars of the mashriq and their peers by inviting scholars of other periods and parts of the world to serve as panel chairs and commentators. In doing so, we hope to provide new perspectives on the history of a region all too often considered in splendid isolation, and to emphasize its central importance to our understandings of late imperialism, the workings of the modern state in the world beyond Europe, and the creation and expansion in the early twentieth century of novel mechanisms of international governance. Our hope is that this gathering will enrich scholarly understanding both of the region itself, and of the world of which it became such an integral part.

Paper proposals on the following themes are elicited:

Transitions: from the dusk of the Ottoman Empire to the dawn of a new state system

The Mandates as a new form of international governance: the League of Nations, international law, and humanitarianism

Above and below the new ’nation-state‘: local and global perspectives on the Mandates

The everyday state and its challenges: law, bureaucracy and citizenship

Insurgency and counter-insurgency: the Mandatory state and its antagonists

Notables, merchants, effendis, and subalterns: new approaches to the social, economic, and political history of the Mandate states

Sectarian and secular institutions and identities: new approaches to social construction and political culture

Cultural production and the self: education and the arts in the Mandate States

The conference will be held on 20-22 September 2013 at Princeton
University. Participation costs (travel and hotel) will be fully covered.

Please send abstracts in word or PDF format to the conference organizers,
Cyrus Schayegh (Princeton University) and Andrew Arsan (University of
Cambridge) at the following email address: mandateconference@gmail.com<mailto:mandateconference@gmail.com>

Abstracts should be 250-300 words; applicants should also provide name,
institutional affiliation, and contact details.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 February 2013. Successful
applicants will be notified by 1 March 2013.

The deadline for submission of pre-circulated papers of no more than 8,000
words, including references, is 1 July 2013. The conference proceedings
will be published in an edited volume.

Die Relevanz des Versailler Vertrages

Alan Sharp schreibt in seinem Beitrag The Treaty of Versailles: 90 years old this weekend über den Völkerbund:

Tensions, crises and violence in the Middle East are rarely absent from the news. Many of their origins can be traced to the ambiguities caused by conflicting British wartime promises to Arabs, Jews and the French, and post-war mapping and manipulations of the region by the great powers and the diplomatic and military manoeuvrings of the local elites. China resented loss of territory to Japan. Japan resented Anglo-American resistance to a racial equality clause in the League Covenant. 1919 was the last great imperial settlement, disappointing nationalist hopes, with important implications for later African and Asian decolonisation.

Versailles, 1919-2009: a new world order’s legacy

David A Andelman schreibt in seiner historischen Rückbetrachtung über den Versailler Vertrag:

When the Allied powers arrived in Paris at the end of 1918, barely days after the Armistice that brought an end to hostilities was signed on 11 November, they proclaimed themselves „the world’s government“ for the period they were assembled in Paris. So for the next six months, the statesmen of the victorious powers – America’s Woodrow Wilson, France’s Georges Clemenceau, Britain’s David Lloyd George, Italy’s Vittorio Orlando, even Japan’s Viscount Sutemi Chinda – proceeded to redraw the map of vast stretches of the planet. They created a host of new nations with little understanding – and barely a nod to the wishes or desires, prejudices or fears – of the people who lived within the new boundaries they were marking with blurry blue pencils, often in the wee hours of the morning. …

The real roots of many major recent and current political events – the convulsions surrounding Iran’s Islamic regime, the bloody troubles in neighbouring Iraq, the ethnic cleansing and mass murders in the Balkans, even numerous wars and uprisings from Palestine to Indochina – lie in a ceremony that occurred ninety years ago. This was the gathering in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, outside Paris, on 28 June 1919, when the representatives of the victors in the first world war dictated the terms of peace to the quivering representatives of Germany’s Kaiser.