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Environments of EmpireNetworks and Agents of Ecological Change$
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Ulrike Kirchberger and Brett M. Bennett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655932

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655932.001.0001

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French Mandate Syria and Lebanon

French Mandate Syria and Lebanon

Land, Ecological Interventions, and the “Modern” State

(p.61) French Mandate Syria and Lebanon
Environments of Empire

Idir Ouahes

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the French mandate state in Syria and Lebanon’s organization of agricultural activity and ecological intervention. It argues that the introduction of the mandate state resulted in an intensification of ecological transfer and experimentation. Institutions with a longer-term engagement in the region saw a shift in their activity as they were increasingly overseen by the state-building requirements of the mandatory authorities. While ecological exchanges had previously occurred, both in traditional and in imperial settings, the introduction of the nation state increased their directedness and capabilities. An international, interimperial, bureaucracy was at the service of the requirements identified by the mandate authorities. French agricultural societies and capitalist lobbyists, administrative practices inherited from previous French and other colonial experiences, scientific practices as advocated by learned groups, local people’s aspirations for prosperity as demonstrated in the Syro-Lebanese public sphere and ecological actors being transferred with mixed success to the locale in the name of a “national” economy.

Keywords:   French Mandate Syria, Lebanon, ecological interventions, colonial agriculture, Idir Ouahes

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