Dangerous Gifts: Imperialism, Security, And Civil Wars In The Levant, 1798-1864
Oxford University Press
For centuries, the so-called Great Powers of the West have taken on the self-imposed responsibility to bring security and liberation to the Middle-East. Consulting fresh primary sources collected from some thirty archives in the Middle East, Russia, the United States, and Western Europe, Dangerous Gifts revisits the late eighteenth and nineteenth century origins of these imperial security practices. It embeds this highly pertinent genealogical history into an innovative and captivating narrative around the Eastern Question, emancipating the latter from the monopoly of Great Power politics, and foregrounding the experience of the Levantine actors. It explores the gradual yet still forceful opening up of the latter’s economies to global free trade, the asymmetrical implementation of international law in their perspective, and the secondary importance attached to their threat perceptions in a world where political and economic decisions were ultimately made through the filter of global imperial interests.