Chapter

Culture in the Middle East: The “Western Question” and the Sovereignty of Post-imperial States in the Middle East

Morten Valbjørn

in Sovereignty After Empire

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748643042
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653270 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748643042.003.0016
Culture in the Middle East: The “Western Question” and the Sovereignty of Post-imperial States in the Middle East

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter delves into one of the great debates within the Middle East in order to explore the impacts of imperialism that relate to culture on the post-imperial states and salience of the sovereignty institution in the Middle East. Based on an examination of answers in the ‘Western Question’ debate concerning ‘what went wrong’, ‘where should we now be going’, and whether the West should be perceived as a ‘peril’, ‘promise’, or ‘just an example’, the chapter shows that instead of perceiving the Middle East as marked by a clash between, on the one side, Western modernity and the Westphalian state and, on the other side, some pre-modern Middle Eastern tradition and ancient supra-/sub-national identities, the defining feature of the region appears to be the existence of a range of parallel but contending novel visions about ‘where should we now be going’, partly responding to and partly inspired by the growing Western influence since the late eighteenth century. This holds implications for whether and how ‘the idea of the state’ has been planted in the minds of the populations and other states in the region.

Keywords: imperialism; Middle East; culture; post-imperial states; sovereignty

Chapter.  8945 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.