Author Archives: Simon Jackson

About Simon Jackson

Simon Jackson is a lecturer in modern Middle Eastern history at the University of Birmingham, where he directs the Centre for Modern and Contemporary History. With the support of a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, he is completing a book on the global political economy of French rule in Syria and Lebanon after World War I, and coediting another, forthcoming with Routledge in 2017, on the interrelationship of the League of Nations and the United Nations. His new project uncovers the origins of the global food production system in late colonial rule.

Transformative Occupations in the Modern Middle East

As guest editors of the dossier on “Transformative Occupations in the Modern Middle East” in the current issue of Humanity, we are delighted that Leila Farsakh and Gershon Shafir each agreed to contribute an introductory meditation on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and the history of the transformative Israeli occupation in Palestine. The dossier, as a unit, builds on the work of the critical legal scholars who have done so much to develop the concept of transformative occupation in the years since Continue reading →

Introduction: Transformative Occupations in the Modern Middle East

This article defines and deploys the concept of transformative occupation to argue for its value in understanding the history of state formation (and prevention) in the Middle East across the twentieth century, during and after imperial and colonial occupation. It argues that socio-political histories of these occupations can in turn refine and extend the heuristic yield of the concept of transformative occupation, for use in other cases globally. The essay also identifies a set of sub-themes that inform our use of the concept: developmental ideologies, Continue reading → Continue reading →

Transformative Relief: Imperial Humanitarianism and Mandatory Development in Syria-Lebanon, 1915–1925

This article shows how emergency humanitarian food relief efforts fitted into the gradual establishment of French imperial occupation in Syria-Lebanon between 1915 and 1925. It argues that we should grasp the years from 1915–1925 as a unit – a distinctively transformative “occupation decade” in the Middle East, as the Ottoman Empire was replaced by the League of Nations Mandate system. It contributes thereby to current debates on the scope and chronology of the First World War. It also engages with a central question in the Continue reading → Continue reading →