The implementation of the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate in Palestine: problems of conquest and colonisation at the nadir of British Imperialism (1917–1936)

Regan, Bernard (2016) The implementation of the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate in Palestine: problems of conquest and colonisation at the nadir of British Imperialism (1917–1936). PhD thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

Summary The objective of this thesis is to analyse the British Mandate in Palestine with a view to developing a new understanding of the interconnections and dissonances between the principal agencies. Through a critical examination of British government papers the thesis argues that the moment of the British Mandate in Palestine signalled a new phase in the development of British imperialism constituting a rupture with the colonialist past and the advent of a new type of imperialist relationship. The encounter between this new-imperialism which developed from the end of the nineteenth century and a Palestinian society which was in the process of transformation between a predominantly pre-capitalist agricultural society into a commodity producing capitalist one engendered a conflictual environment dislocating the economic, social and political structures that existed. The Balfour Declaration constituted an agreement between British imperialism and organised Zionism which was the establishment of a symbiotic relationship emerging from the coalescence of two interdependent political goals. The British, intent on preserving their position as an imperial hegemon perceived the occupation of Palestine as a critical component of their strategy and a vital adjunct of their objective of remaining the dominant force in the region of the Near East. The combined aspects of this strategy cannot be reduced to but may be expressed as: a desire to retain untrammelled communications through the Suez Canal with the Empire at large; a pre-occupation with seeking to establish a dominant position in respect of the exploitation and marketisation of oil and the implantation of a colonising surrogate to act as the agency through which its objectives might be mediated. The Zionist objective, to create a National Home for the Jews, constituted a nationalist endeavour premised on the acquisition of an imperialist sponsor. The British course of action through the implementation of the Mandate constituted an intervention which distorted and gravely damaged the evolution of the economic, social and political life of the indigenous Palestinians. The thesis in analysing these events in a new way argues for a fresh appreciation of the origin and character of the British Mandate in Palestine.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: 900 History & geography > 956 History of the Middle East (Near East)
School/Department: School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Bernard Regan
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 15:40
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 11:59
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/1009

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