Skip to main content


Reimagining Political Space--Empire, Revolts, and Competitive State-Formation in the Middle East and North Africa in the 1920s

Dr Jonathan Wyrtzen - Yale University

Against a dominant historical narrative emphasizing the importance of war-time agreements (Sykes-Picot et al) and the post-World War I peace settlement in "making" the modern Middle East, this paper shifts the focus to the postwar decade, examining a set of synchronic "revolts" in the mid-1920s from Morocco to Turkey that were critical in negotiating new political topographies in North Africa the Middle East. This comparative analysis works out different typologies of state formation (both by the British, French, Italian, and Spanish colonial powers and by local actors including Ataturk, Ibn Saud, and Abd al-Krim) and of anti-state resistance, emphasizing the importance of transregional linkages during this critical historical juncture.

Event details


Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies