British bordering practices in the Middle East before Sykes-Picot: giving an edge to zones

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Abstract

The significance of the Sykes-Picot territorial system of mandated territories has been both overplayed and somewhat misplaced on its centenary over the last year or so. This article reviews the legacy of Britain’s bordering practices in the Middle East in the period before World War One, arguing that its importance should not be underestimated. It shows how the British Home and India governments began to think in terms of lines and zones on land and sea during the nineteenth century and how, with an intensifying Ottoman challenge in three corners of Arabia at the turn of the twentieth century, there was a perceived need to define edges to spatial zones. This account concentrates upon two of these corners – in Yemen and Kuwait.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-161
Number of pages13
JournalEgypte/Monde Arabe
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Bordering practices, Arabia, Persian Gulf, Buffer Zones, Anglo-Ottoman Territorial Confrontation

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