Dissertation: Sinanoglou, British Plans for Partition of Palestine

Sinanoglou, Penelope Joy. Playing Solomon: British plans for the partition of Palestine, 1920-1939. Ph.D. dissertation. Harvard University; 2008.

***** Abstract (Summary) *****

This dissertation traces the emergence and development of partition plans in British-mandated Palestine from the inception of the mandate until the eve of the Second World War. It seeks to determine how the British eventually came to favor partition as a solution to the "Palestine problem" and to delineate the factors influencing this trajectory. Drawing on archival and published sources collected in England, India, Israel and the United States, the dissertation traces local, national, imperial and international influences on British policy-making. The aborted post-war partition of Palestine under the United Nations has drawn significant scholarly attention away from a period in which partition was not inevitable, but rather slowly emerged as a seemingly promising solution. This dissertation reveals the complex web of factors that brought partition to the fore.

The dissertation brings Britain and international organizations such as the League of Nations back to a central position in the early twentieth-century history of Palestine, arguing that ideas about nationality, sovereignty and territoriality that were being defined and contested after 1919 had a significant impact on British policy in Palestine. Representative government was increasingly recognized and constructed as a norm in both British domestic and international politics, yet Britain was unable to institute nationally representative government in Palestine. The dissertation argues that partition emerged as a potential policy because it offered a solution to this intractable problem.

Critically, this study also returns Palestine to the fold of British imperial history from which it has often been excluded as an exceptional case. It foregrounds the importance of cross-imperial experience and thinking in the development of partition as a theory and practice. Many British administrators looked to analogous situations in other parts of the empire such as India, Ireland, and Africa for solutions to problems in Palestine. By the mid-1920s, partition was already an established imperial tool, used temporarily in Bengal between 1905 and 1911, and permanently in the Irish partition of 1922. Placing British policy-making in Palestine in these international and imperial contexts provides a new and nuanced interpretation of a critical historical moment.

***** Indexing (document details) *****

Advisor:          Owen, Roger

School:           Harvard University

School Location:  United States — Massachusetts

Keyword(s):       Great Britain, Partition, British Empire, Palestine

Source:           DAI-A 69/10, Apr 2009

Source type:      Dissertation

Subjects:         Middle Eastern history, European history

Publication       AAT 3334795

Number:

ISBN:             9780549882299

Document URL:     http://proquest.umi.com/

                  pqdweb?did=1617307351&Fmt=2&clientId=17454&RQT=309&VName=PQD

ProQuest document 1617307351

 

Keywords: Israel-Palestinian Conflict; Penelope Joy Sinanoglou, British Mandate,

[Thanks to John Erlen, University of Pittsburgh for info]

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