The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates provides an overview of the social, political, economic, and cultural histories of the Middle East in the decades between the end of the First World War and the late 1940s, when Britain and France abandoned their Mandates. It also situates the history of the Mandates in their wider imperial, international and global contexts, incorporating them into broader narratives of the interwar decades. In 27 thematically organised chapters, the volume looks at various aspects of the Mandates such as:

  • The impact of the First World War and the development of a new state system 
  • The impact of the League of Nations and international governance
  • Differing historical perspectives on the impact of the Mandates system
  • Techniques and practices of government
  • The political, social, economic and cultural experiences of the people living in and connected to the Mandates.

This book provides the reader with a guide to both the history of the Middle East Mandates and their complex relation with the broader structures of imperial and international life. It will be a valuable resource for all scholars of this period of Middle Eastern and world history.

chapter |23 pages


ByCyrus Schayegh, Andrew Arsan

part |127 pages

The Mandate states in the world

chapter |4 pages

Introduction to Part I

ByAndrew Arsan

chapter |21 pages

Between Communal Survival and National Aspiration

Armenian Genocide refugees, the League of Nations and the practices of interwar humanitarianism
ByKeith David Watenpaugh

chapter |14 pages

Compassion and Connections

Feeding Beirut and assembling Mandate rule in 1919
BySimon Jackson

chapter |12 pages

Exporting Obligations

Evolutionism, normalization, and mandatory anti-alcoholism from Africa to the Middle East (1918–1939)
ByPhilippe Bourmaud

chapter |18 pages

“Education for Real Life”

Pragmatist pedagogies and American interwar expansion in Iraq
BySara Pursley

chapter |17 pages

The Mandate System as a Style of Reasoning

International jurisdiction and the parceling of imperial sovereignty in petitions from Palestine
ByNatasha Wheatley

chapter |13 pages

Citizens from Afar

Palestinian migrants and the new world order, 1920–1930
ByNadim Bawalsa

part |116 pages

Mandate states

chapter |2 pages

Introduction to Part II

ByCyrus Schayegh

chapter |13 pages

Colonial Gender Discourse in Iraq

Constructing noncitizens
ByNoga Efrati

chapter |13 pages

Mapping the Cadastre, Producing the Fellah

Technologies and discourses of rule in French Mandate Syria and Lebanon
ByElizabeth Williams

chapter |15 pages

Suspect Service

Prostitution and the public in the Mandate Mediterranean
ByCamila Pastor

chapter |14 pages

The Successful Failure of Reform

Police legitimacy in British Palestine
ByJohn L. Knight

chapter |14 pages

Rashid Rida and the 1920 Syrian-Arab Constitution

How the French Mandate undermined Islamic liberalism
ByElizabeth F. Thompson

chapter |11 pages

The Nation as Moral Community

Language and religion in the 1919 King-Crane Commission
ByLori Allen

part |139 pages

Mandate state-society interactions and societal action

chapter |3 pages

Introduction to Part III

ByCyrus Schayegh

chapter |16 pages

Development and Disappointment

Arab approaches to economic modernization in Mandate Palestine
ByJacob Norris

chapter |17 pages

Throwing Transjordan into Palestine

Electrification and state formation, 1921–1954
ByFredrik Meiton

chapter |13 pages

Abu Jilda, Anti-Imperial Antihero

Banditry and popular rebellion in Palestine
ByAlex Winder

chapter |15 pages

“A Massacre without Precedent”

Pedagogical constituencies and communities of knowledge in Mandate Lebanon
ByNadya Sbaiti

chapter |13 pages

Hebrew Under English Rule

The language politics of Mandate Palestine
ByLiora R. Halperin

chapter |13 pages

Jews in an Imperial Pocket

Northern Iraqi Jews and the British Mandate
ByOrit Bashkin

chapter |12 pages

Sanctity Across the Border

Pilgrimage routes and state control in Mandate Lebanon and Palestine
ByToufoul Abou-Hodeib

chapter |13 pages

Rebels Without Borders

Southern Syria and Palestine, 1919–1936
ByLaila Parsons

part |24 pages


chapter |1 pages

Introduction to Part IV

ByCyrus Schayegh

chapter |8 pages

The Mandates and/as Decolonization

ByCyrus Schayegh

chapter |13 pages

Was there a Mandates Period?

Some concluding thoughts
ByJames L. Gelvin