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date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Statesmen attending the Paris Conference after World War I proposed the new League of Nations and an arrangement called mandates to administer occupied enemy territory and colonies. The Ottoman realms of the Middle East were arguably the principal prize of the war and both Britain and France sought control. Regions of the Hapsburg Empire and the Balkans became newly independent countries, but the Middle East was too important for such an outcome. The mandates were claimed to be “not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world,” and “the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation.” Mandate rule lasted nearly 30 years in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Jordan, and Iraq. The mandates are forgotten everywhere, but the traces of decades of Mandate rule remain even today, in borders, electoral structures, martial law codes, authoritarian executives, and pervasive security and military structures.

Keywords: authoritarianism, Iraq, League of Nations, Lebanon, mandate, military structures, Palestine, state formation, Syria, Transjordan

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