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The Politics of Mass Violence in the Middle East$
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Laura Robson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198825036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198825036.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 August 2021

The Violence of World War, 1914–1920

The Violence of World War, 1914–1920

(p.34) 2 The Violence of World War, 1914–1920
The Politics of Mass Violence in the Middle East

Laura Robson

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the unfolding of the war in the Arab provinces, examining how imperial reforms morphed into extreme violence as the Ottoman state enacted genocidal campaigns against Armenians and practiced political repression against Arab activists while European forces invaded, blockaded, and occupied the famine-stricken Levant. It focuses in particular on the rather sudden delegitimization of Ottoman authority in the Mashriq as a consequence of the multiple Allied invasions; the Committee of Union and Progress’s emerging policies of mass conscription, material requisitioning, and political repression in greater Syria and the Iraqi provinces, symbolized particularly by the public executions in Beirut and Damascus in 1915 and 1916. It also articulates how the Allied military campaigns in Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine aimed not only to defeat the Ottomans but also to establish the outlines of a postcolonial absorption of these territories and their resources into the British and French Empires.

Keywords:   First World War, Allied powers, Central powers, famine, conscription, occupation

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