Visions of Territory: Negotiating the Future of the Middle East 1915–1923
185 Pelham Street
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In the period leading from World War I to the establishment of the mandate system, a range of actors were involved in negotiating the post-war reordering of Ottoman territories. What were for these actors the concrete spatial structures by which they imagined and negotiated a new world order in this area? To answer this question, this seminar follows a trail of legal and diplomatic documents from the period that still influence political discourse in the Middle East today. It uncovers in them a forgotten regional moment of international law in the Middle East, a moment in which ‘the region’ was not yet divided into separate jurisdictions behaving according to the prediction of a realist theory of international law. Instead, it was being constructed by the expression of different layers of territorial landscapes, ‘mental maps’ of political possibilities for restructuring vast, non-sovereign and extra- nation-state territoriality.