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In recent years historians of the Middle East have been making a conscious effort to distance themselves from traditional modernizationist approaches to the area's history.Whereas in the past the revolution was seen as a purely political event, this new research narrates it as a social and cultural transformation of Iranian society that had gender, multiclass and multicultural dimensions.A history of country A setting itself the goal of catching up with country or countries B is as old as the hills, and reached its most specific policy application in Japan in the second half of the nineteenth century:These doubts on the process of modernization were voiced in 1969; a few years later a more specific deconstruction produced an intensive search for a different understanding of the relationship between western and non-western societies.Each and every case of the so-called 'encounter' between Western and non-Western societies had to be re-examined in an inductive way before anything general could be said about the orientation, nature and pace of the modernization process.Whereas Western scholars had pointed to the French Revolution and European political powers as the principal factors in the modernization of the Ottoman Empire, their Turkish counterparts now singled out Islamic tradition, Ottoman customs and local imperial experience as the decisive forces behind the Tanzimat, the great Ottoman reforms of the nineteenth century.In his Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, he defined many of them
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INTRODUCTION
Modernization theories belong to the world of behaviourism:
Of the many springs from which behaviouralism flowed, three stand out in this context; the belief that the concepts in terms of which what is studied empirically should be organized must be derived from explicit theories about political behavior; the view that political behaviour is intimately related to social and economic behaviour; and the particular influence of Max Weber (the structuralist-functionalist approach).But non-Western societies proved less accessible to social scientists than their own Western societies -language was one of the barriers, the absence of historical material another.The social, economic and political structural changes caused by the introduction of technology in non-Western societies led to a more stable and successful stage of modernization.Cultural anthropology called for the redefinition of some of the major assumptions of modernization theories because they proved irrelevant as an analysis of what happened to different people living in different parts of the world (including the 'Western' world).It was, among others, the distinguished sociologist Talcott Parsons who helped to construct a modified, i.e., structural-functional, theory of modernization, meant to elucidate how the change from tradition to modernity should be read for non-Western societies.The first signs of a fundamental critique appeared in the 1970s when the inherent Eurocentricity of modernization theories, as well as their teleological and essentialist approach, prompted a reappraisal of 'modernization' as both a descriptive and an analytical tool.Spread throughout the world by the twin forces of Western colonialism and imperialism, it soon became global: the West had the magic wand (with Westernization came enlightenment and progress) whose touch enabled non-Western societies to leave the past behind them.It means that history for them can have a much more limited geographical scope than that of the group to which they are associated by such ideologies as nationalism or theories such as modernization and existence and spheres of identity, which are much wider than the ones into which they are cast by these very ideologies and theories.Immigrants who left their community but then returned, mass communication, Western imperialism, the integration into world capitalism, all are taken into account when changes in non-Western societies are being analysed.Whether the West was then accepted or rejected was of little theoretical relevance, as both reactions fitted within the concept of modernity: colonialism and nationalism are part and parcel of the modernization of a non-Western society.An alternative view of the
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INTRODUCTION
history of the 'interaction' between Western and non-Western societies has only recently come to the fore.6 This was indeed the beginning of a fresh approach to modernization, but it was still an elite analysis inspired by the history of ideas and maintained that the process of modernization meant a positive development.Another belief underpinning modernization theories is the assumption that the actions of the external agents of change can be explained today by analysing the political policies of the European power elites.True, in the case of the modernization theories, to a certain extent the methodological approach was claimed to be a result of the availability of sources and of a high regard for the written (political) document; but, even here, at the end of the day the choice was ideological The principal quest of historians well into the 196os was for the hour of birth of the 'modern Middle East'.Non-Western societies
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INTRODUCTION
were viewed as self-contained coherent units, with a cultural and ideological cohesiveness of their own, further divided up into functional units all meant to preserve the society within the world at large.From literary criticism and postcolonial hermeneutics came the call to dismiss the more ideological assumptions of modernization theories as anachronistic and abusive, reflecting as they did, not reality, but only an interpretation of reality that some of the critics suspected was motivated by a neo-colonial wish to perpetuate the existing balance of power, knowledge and wealth.Europe's elites interacted with local non-Western elites through whom their impact reached society as a whole-that is, these locai elites made the transition from passivity to activity only after having become at least semi-Westernized.This also explains why local non-elite groups are of no interest at all to theoreticians of modernization, apart from the question of whether they were willing to accept or reject the modern Western message.From within this perspective, the transition has not been completed because the area has not gone through all the modernization stages necessary for a society to become Western or modern.Thus, for instance, the traditional clan was broken down into a
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INTRODUCTION
number of more 'functional' Western-style core families, and professional elites were chosen according to their qualifications vis-a-vis the new system and no longer because of their network of connections.Modernization can be traced through various phenomena: industrialization, urbanization, hygienization, secularization, centralization and politicization of societies.Scholars of Middle Eastern studies challenged theories of modernization.IO
INTRODUCTION
Similarly, secularization did not always appear to be an integral part of modernization, wh ether as a cause or as a consequence of the process.But other factors, too, were granted the power to give birth to something 'new': capitalism, militarism, industrialization, urbanization, demographic growth, etc., were all highlighted by mainstream historians of the Middle East as forces that facilitated the modernization - i.e., the progress and development - of the Middle East.This view owed much to the recognition ofthe disciplinary background of the historians as being important for the way they assessed modernization, with different historians determining progress and consequences according to their own fields of expertise.Political economists followed with an acute assessment of how the integration within European or Western economies actually marginalized the economy of the newly acquired markets and accorded it a subordinate role in the continent's economy.In essence it meant that a non-western society was a system, whose behaviour could be both predicted and coached into adopting western values and standards.In the 1970s scholars defined modernization as a fragmented and modular process that did not carry with it a particular logic, but, rather, could end up producing a technological, nationalistic and non-democratic society such as the People's Republic of China, an utterly perplexing case study such as japan, and a blurred, ambiguous picture as in the Arab world.As modernization theories served as an analytical tool to explain when, how and why the Ottoman Middle East became a different, that is a modern, place, it is this structure that we need to deconstruct.Most of these processes can be quantified by pointing to numbers of factories and hospitals, demographic growth in cities, declining numbers of religious institutions or of religious curricula in schools, new and more centralized administrative units, new representative bodies and new foreign organizations and agents (such as consulates and embassies) and so on. This created the overwhelming impression that modernization could be articulated and examined in a scientific way.The methodological argument against modernization theories is not about the subject matter of history, but about how they structured these forces of change and progress in a 'logical' and causal order.As a discipline, anthropology has never coexisted easily with theories of modernization as it does not view human history as a series of dramatic political changes.Unfailingly Eurocentric, such modernizationist views of Middle Eastern history single out one period - Western colonialism-as making possible a quantum leap forward.Taken together, these historians already form an impressive reformist, and at times, revisionist school, in many ways deconstructing previous Western scholarship on Middle Eastern history.The further adoption of Western political institutions and organizations then helped reshape the local societies 'in the image of the West,' on both macro and micro levels.More direct European territorial intervention in the Middle East, which had started earlier, but was then greatly helped by the First World War, accelerated the spread of modernization.As a reconstructive effort, however, they are only at the beginning of their enterprise, and it remains to be seen what alternatives there are if we want to write a 'modern history' of the Middle East without the support of modernization theories.It was this state of affairs that dealt a fatal blow to the raison d'etre of modernization theories.Wh en this view was applied to the history of non-Western societies, other alternative ideas informed the new historiography.This revised position is summarized elegantly by Sami Zubaida:
The alternative which I propose and demonstrate is quite different: I argue that the specific situations of various Middle Eastern societies and politics can be analysed in terms of general socio-economic processes.One was that non-Western societies always stood to benefit from Westernization.'The concept, and hence, the problem, of development is historically a very recent one, and it is worth remembering that it is not at all native to underdeveloped areas but is strictly a Western notion, one that looks out from the'us' of modernity or industrialization or what have you, to the have nots of that same what have you.Theories of modernization
Where ought a 'modern history' of the Middle East begin?3 The Middle East seemed an excellent case study for modernization theories.They were
The counter argument to modernization began in the 1960s with the development theories.The as yet incomplete process of modernization in the Middle East began with the importing from Europe of novel military technologies by such reformist rulers as Muhammad Ali in Egypt and Salim III in the Ottoman Empire.The question seems to be closely linked to how we define modernity and modernization.It enabled him to expose the colonial agenda behind many Orientalist studies by Western experts decoding the East for the West, revealing how their work was an accumulation and analysis of information for the sake of control and domination.Even local resistance to this European intervention (the rebellious child) fitted into the modernizationist
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INTRODUCTION
paradigm: such resistance was always nationalist and nationalism was an integral part of Westernization.The process was seen as almost inevitable, but could be encouraged by Westernized educational systems, secularized political institutions and reformist policies aimed at capitalizing agrarian societies, settling nomads and centralizing loose communities.In other words, modernization began with the integration of a peripheral (i.e., agrarian) society into the world (i.e., capitalist) economy.The parents were unquestionably Western, the midwife the local elites.But, more importantly, it became increasingly clear that the West effectively encouraged this development for its own benefit in collaboration with certain local elites while crushing alternative elites and socio-political forces of change in the process.1 This conventional view of modernization enabled theoreticians to construct a pattern of development..


النص الأصلي

In recent years historians of the Middle East have been making a conscious effort to distance themselves from traditional modernizationist approaches to the area's history. Instead, they seem to feel more comfortable with theories of change and transformation that are less structuralist in approach and more sceptical in outlook. Taken together, these historians already form an impressive reformist, and at times, revisionist school, in many ways deconstructing previous Western scholarship on Middle Eastern history. As a reconstructive effort, however, they are only at the beginning of their enterprise, and it remains to be seen what alternatives there are if we want to write a 'modern history' of the Middle East without the support of modernization theories. The main reason for this difficulty, to my mind, is ideological and not, as has often been argued, methodological. I will illustrate this in the following pages by discussing the question of 'beginnings'. The discussion focuses on the question of whom we investigate in the past-which is an ideological decision- and not on how we investigate the past- a methodological decision. True, in the case of the modernization theories, to a certain extent the methodological approach was claimed to be a result of the availability of sources and of a high regard for the written (political) document; but, even here, at the end of the day the choice was ideological The principal quest of historians well into the 196os was for the hour of birth of the 'modern Middle East'. About other issues there was very little doubt. The parents were unquestionably Western, the midwife the local elites. Even the rebellion of the child against its parents was part of the narrative. In other words, when local- not just Western -historiographers dealt with the making of the modern Middle East, all accepted the 'encounter' with the West as decisive. Whether the West was then accepted or rejected was of little theoretical relevance, as both reactions fitted within the concept of modernity: colonialism and nationalism are part and parcel of the modernization of a non-Western society. Thus, for many, the departure point for 'modern history' was decided by
INTRODUCTION
colonial intervention and subsequent national' awakening'. But other factors, too, were granted the power to give birth to something 'new': capitalism, militarism, industrialization, urbanization, demographic growth, etc., were all highlighted by mainstream historians of the Middle East as forces that facilitated the modernization - i.e., the progress and development - of the Middle East. Deconstructing this view does not necessarily entail doubting the impact of these forces, but it does call for a willingness to question their 'positive' nature in terms of human welfare and well-being. The latter becomes particularly problematic if one's critical scrutiny extends to nationalism. As I hope to show, a certain anational ideological stance will prove helpful in our search for alternatives. The methodological argument against modernization theories is not about the subject matter of history, but about how they structured these forces of change and progress in a 'logical' and causal order. As modernization theories served as an analytical tool to explain when, how and why the Ottoman Middle East became a different, that is a modern, place, it is this structure that we need to deconstruct. One major conclusion has always stood out: it was Europe that modernized the Middle East. Significantly, this Eurocentric approach remained intact long after the decolonization of the Middle East because national, anti-colonial, historiographies found it useful to adhere to this narrative. In other words, history was decolonized but not denationalized, and remained inspired by theories of change that today we can only describe as narrow-minded in their outlook and condescending in their assumptions. Unfailingly Eurocentric, such modernizationist views of Middle Eastern history single out one period - Western colonialism-as making possible a quantum leap forward. National historiographies revised this view by offering local elites a more substantial role in the formation of the 'new and modern' Middle East. But, like that of the colonizers, the history of these elites has never reflected the history of Middle Eastern society as a whole. Admittedly, the modernizationist approach presented a sophisticated perspective on historical change and transformation which allowed historians wary or even dismissive of theoretical tools a chance to produce competent microhistories. The upshot of this has been an accumulation of detailed case studies that are still valuable as such, even though the subjects were all analysed and described according to the main modernizationist assumptions.
Theories of modernization
Where ought a 'modern history' of the Middle East begin? Or, where should we begin' our' modern history of the Middle East? The question seems to be closely linked to how we define modernity and modernization. Traditionally, social scientists and historians tended to agree that a society became modern at a clearly detectable moment in its history because it always involved a sharp break from
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INTRODUCTION
the non-modern, traditional past. This rupture with the past occurred first in Europe and North America, beginning with the Industrial and American Revolutions, was then carried further by the French Revolution and culminated in the 'Spring of Nations' of 1848. Spread throughout the world by the twin forces of Western colonialism and imperialism, it soon became global: the West had the magic wand (with Westernization came enlightenment and progress) whose touch enabled non-Western societies to leave the past behind them. This definition takes for granted not only that local pre-modern pasts are irrelevant but also that, as long as they are not Westernized, the locals themselves are not part of a modern history. To the historian they appear only as receptacles, passive human beings whose lives are changed through the intervention of external and dynamic powers saving them from stagnation. Another belief underpinning modernization theories is the assumption that the actions of the external agents of change can be explained today by analysing the political policies of the European power elites. European archives are replete with written documents of an exclusively diplomatic and political nature. Europe's elites interacted with local non-Western elites through whom their impact reached society as a whole-that is, these locai elites made the transition from passivity to activity only after having become at least semi-Westernized. This also explains why local non-elite groups are of no interest at all to theoreticians of modernization, apart from the question of whether they were willing to accept or reject the modern Western message. Modernization can be traced through various phenomena: industrialization, urbanization, hygienization, secularization, centralization and politicization of societies. Most of these processes can be quantified by pointing to numbers of factories and hospitals, demographic growth in cities, declining numbers of religious institutions or of religious curricula in schools, new and more centralized administrative units, new representative bodies and new foreign organizations and agents (such as consulates and embassies) and so on. This created the overwhelming impression that modernization could be articulated and examined in a scientific way. 1 This conventional view of modernization enabled theoreticians to construct a pattern of development. Western territorial expansion brought with it technological innovation. The social, economic and political structural changes caused by the introduction of technology in non-Western societies led to a more stable and successful stage of modernization. The further adoption of Western political institutions and organizations then helped reshape the local societies 'in the image of the West,' on both macro and micro levels. In other words, a society solidified its modernity when certain conditions were met. First, the local people were reorganized in modern social forms: they moved from Gemeinschaft -(membership in an 'intimate' community) to Gesellschaft (membership in a 'non-intimate' society), or from the organic familiar society to the expanded impersonal one. Thus, for instance, the traditional clan was broken down into a
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INTRODUCTION
number of more 'functional' Western-style core families, and professional elites were chosen according to their qualifications vis-a-vis the new system and no longer because of their network of connections. The process was seen as almost inevitable, but could be encouraged by Westernized educational systems, secularized political institutions and reformist policies aimed at capitalizing agrarian societies, settling nomads and centralizing loose communities. According to this view, these structural changes were further cemented with the mortar of European political and moral thought. First came ideas that transcended geographical barriers in that they could be applied anywhere -democracy, liberalism and above all nationalism. Then, at a later stage, the perceptions lying behind these ideas were absorbed. 2 The completion of the process, as predicted enthusiastically by Francis Fukuyama, was to be the complete Westernization of the globe, the 'end of history'. 3 The Middle East seemed an excellent case study for modernization theories. The modern history of the Middle East began with Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798,4 and then entered what modernizationists define as a 'transitional' period-in between tradition and modernity. Here it remains stuck today. From within this perspective, the transition has not been completed because the area has not gone through all the modernization stages necessary for a society to become Western or modern. As it is, all Western and multinational media refer to the West as the 'developed' world and to large parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America as the 'developing' world, i.e., still in transition. With regard to the Middle East, this dichotomy goes along religious, sectarian, gender and geographical lines. Christians and Jews are regarded as more developed than Muslims, the town is described as more developed than the countryside, and within each category women as 'developing' rather than 'developed'-women's transition to the status of 'developed' being the ultimate proof of the process being completed. The as yet incomplete process of modernization in the Middle East began with the importing from Europe of novel military technologies by such reformist rulers as Muhammad Ali in Egypt and Salim III in the Ottoman Empire. Technology was followed by educational and agrarian reforms, designed by European advisers and to be underpinned by new legislation and administrative policies, thus putting in place the infrastructure for a modern Westernized state. More direct European territorial intervention in the Middle East, which had started earlier, but was then greatly helped by the First World War, accelerated the spread of modernization. Europeans settling in the Middle East became 'agents of modernization': their very presence ensured the intensification of the whole Westernization process. That it also facilitated the colonization of the more coveted areas of the region is seldom highlighted by modernizationists as it points up the negative aspects of the whole process. Even local resistance to this European intervention (the rebellious child) fitted into the modernizationist
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INTRODUCTION
paradigm: such resistance was always nationalist and nationalism was an integral part of Westernization. With the coming of nationalism to the region, two of the three stages modernity requires were completed-technology and economic transformation being the first, institutional and ideological imports being the second. The third stage, bringing perceptive change to democracy and liberalism, is as yet to appear on the horizon. It is this failure to complete the process that already in the r96os puzzled students of the Middle East and, to an extent, still does. The debate centred on the 'pace' and 'orientation' of modernization. The advocates of modernization, as both an analytical and a descriptive tool, differed in their prediction about the success of the process. There were those who saw modernization as an inevitable 'natural law' of development and hence were confident of its eventual success. There were those who even associated it with Darwin's theory of evolution and the survival of the fittest, which highlighted the racist tones underlying the theory. 5 Others regarded it as a probable, but not exclusive or inevitable form of progress. As for any traditional society on the way to modernity, there were ups and downs, periods of progression and stagnation. · These views stretched across a varied spectrum of scholarly approaches. At one pole stood the 'optimists', predicting sure success for modernization in the Middle East; on the other the 'pessimists', who saw the area as doomed to remain 'primitive' and traditional. They shared two main assumptions. One was that non-Western societies always stood to benefit from Westernization. The second was that a society's ability to become fully Westernized depended to a large extent on its elites. This last position was of course the result of an elitist attitude among historians themselves, but was also dictated by a methodological fixation. Sociologists claimed that any change in perception in contemporary societies could be analysed with the help of questionnaires, as Daniel Lerner had shown in the I950s in his The Passing of Traditional Society. But, as we as yet have no way to dispatch questionnaires to people who are dead and gone, historians eager to find out whether perceptions had changed in the past can only distil such transformations from the writings left behind by past intellectuals and politicians. This meant that, as an historical debate, the question of change in perception was taken over by exponents of the traditional history of ideas. 'Pessimists', such as Eli Kedourie, had little faith in the intellectual elites of the Arab world. Kedourie regarded Middle Eastern politicians and intellectuals as copiers of the original thought of others, who at best misinterpreted great European minds and at worst abused them for the sake of power and control. Bernard Lewis has shown somewhat more faith in them, provided they were Islamized Christians holding high positions in the Ottoman court. It was Albert Hourani, the 'optimist', who showed the greater respect towards and faith in these thinkers. In his Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, he defined many of them
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INTRODUCTION
Modernization theories belong to the world of behaviourism:
Of the many springs from which behaviouralism flowed, three stand out in this context; the belief that the concepts in terms of which what is studied empirically should be organized must be derived from explicit theories about political behavior; the view that political behaviour is intimately related to social and economic behaviour; and the particular influence of Max Weber (the structuralist-functionalist approach). In essence it meant that a non-western society was a system, whose behaviour could be both predicted and coached into adopting western values and standards. (Leys, Politics and Change, p. 3)
as liberal, modern and, above all, original intellectuals who had the potential to move their societies towards a better future. Hisham Sharabi went even further than Hourani and, adopting a Gramscian view, treated them as a genuine alternative to the European bourgeoisie. Hourani and Sharabi diverged from mainstream modernizationist theories by attributing the dynamics of change in the Arab world not just to external but also to local elite forces. Similarly; around the late 1970s, Turkish historians also began challenging the Eurocentric historical analysis that had given them 'The Emergence of Modern Turkey'. Whereas Western scholars had pointed to the French Revolution and European political powers as the principal factors in the modernization of the Ottoman Empire, their Turkish counterparts now singled out Islamic tradition, Ottoman customs and local imperial experience as the decisive forces behind the Tanzimat, the great Ottoman reforms of the nineteenth century. 6 This was indeed the beginning of a fresh approach to modernization, but it was still an elite analysis inspired by the history of ideas and maintained that the process of modernization meant a positive development. In order to understand the resilience these theories have shown, one has to go back to the 1950s and the rise of behaviourism. This school in the human sciences put its faith in empirical research as the best way to explain human behaviour-'modernization' is a behaviourist notion. In the case of non-Western countries it entailed the search for a scientific way of predicting how and when an individual or a society would come to adopt a behaviour that was in alignment with the developed Westernized world. But non-Western societies proved less accessible to social scientists than their own Western societies -language was one of the barriers, the absence of historical material another. It was, among others, the distinguished sociologist Talcott Parsons who helped to construct a modified, i.e., structural-functional, theory of modernization, meant to elucidate how the change from tradition to modernity should be read for non-Western societies. Non-Western societies
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INTRODUCTION
were viewed as self-contained coherent units, with a cultural and ideological cohesiveness of their own, further divided up into functional units all meant to preserve the society within the world at large. Change here meant the adoption in its totality of an alternative ideological and cultural system which redefined the functions of the various social and economic units within the society. This structural and functional change could be achieved only from above -with the 'management', i.e., the elite of the system, taking control of the act of transformation. Notoriously obscure and complex, monographs on the Middle East influenced by this approach were hardly able to provide a convincing explanation for the mechanism of change. The general disillusionment with modernism in the West, as elsewhere, naturally affected attitudes towards the concept of modernization. The first signs of a fundamental critique appeared in the 1970s when the inherent Eurocentricity of modernization theories, as well as their teleological and essentialist approach, prompted a reappraisal of 'modernization' as both a descriptive and an analytical tool. It came from various directions. Political scientists and sociologists seemed to be the first to realize that modernization was not as structured and linear a process as hitherto conceived. They also questioned whether becoming 'developed' was so inevitable or even desirable in every situation and for every location. A closer look at countries such as Indonesia, Ghana, Algeria and India produced a somewhat bewildering picture of the forces of change. Relatively pluralist and democratic societies continued to be shaken by political and social upheavals, their economies fluctuating between growth and recession. Thus, it did not seem that there was one cohesive system that could be, or had to be, replaced by another, better, system. Instead, conflicting changes and power struggles made up the system that lay at the heart of these societies. They were
The counter argument to modernization began in the 1960s with the development theories.
'The concept, and hence, the problem, of development is historically a very recent one, and it is worth remembering that it is not at all native to underdeveloped areas but is strictly a Western notion, one that looks out from the'us' of modernity or industrialization or what have you, to the have nots of that same what have you. A history of country A setting itself the goal of catching up with country or countries B is as old as the hills, and reached its most specific policy application in Japan in the second half of the nineteenth century:These doubts on the process of modernization were voiced in 1969; a few years later a more specific deconstruction produced an intensive search for a different understanding of the relationship between western and non-western societies. (Netti,'Strategies: p. 15)
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INTRODUCTION
fragmented and torn, yet existed as cohesive units-a phenomenon for which no easy analogy could be found in European history. It was this state of affairs that dealt a fatal blow to the raison d'etre of modernization theories. Other assumptions crumbled in quick succession, such as the prediction that a Western-type industrialization was an inevitable part of development. Instead, in the 'developing world' all the features of change appeared in a kaleidoscopic way, not in that structural chronological and causal manner historians had detected in European and North American development. Modernization was shown up for what it had always been-more an ideology than a reality-and was challenged accordingly. Counter-ideologies, formulated first by political leaders in Asia and Africa, affected academic approaches to change. In the 1970s scholars defined modernization as a fragmented and modular process that did not carry with it a particular logic, but, rather, could end up producing a technological, nationalistic and non-democratic society such as the People's Republic of China, an utterly perplexing case study such as japan, and a blurred, ambiguous picture as in the Arab world. This view owed much to the recognition ofthe disciplinary background of the historians as being important for the way they assessed modernization, with different historians determining progress and consequences according to their own fields of expertise. The most notable revision of the theory came from economists, who realized that economic development was not necessarily associated with social and political development. What now emerged was a picture of Western economies overtaking local economies, integrating them, but not necessarily 'modernizing' them. In other words, modernization began with the integration of a peripheral (i.e., agrarian) society into the world (i.e., capitalist) economy. This could take different forms: expansion of trade, the appearance of cash crops and private land ownership, the emergence of banking and investment systems and generally a growth in the strategic foreign economic interest in the society. Political economists followed with an acute assessment of how the integration within European or Western economies actually marginalized the economy of the newly acquired markets and accorded it a subordinate role in the continent's economy. Growing cash crops, trading with raw material, profiteering with real estate and land or investing in local industry enriched a few but devastated many. These changes certainly did not bring with them social reforms or equality for women, let alone produce stable or more liberal political systems. In the field of Middle Eastern studies, political economy had a profound impact on the genealogy of the scholarship in the field. Scholars of Middle Eastern studies challenged theories of modernization. This went together with the professionalization of the Middle East field in 1967. It began with an Egyptian scholar, Samir Amin, who reviewed critically the economic integration of the Middle Eastern periphery to the world capitalist centre. In the early 1970s,
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INTRODUCTION
young scholars in the USA and in Britain published new journals which were a focus for critical study groups. Such was the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) in the USA and Review of Middle Eastern Studies (ROMES) in the United Kingdom. With their appearance, the dependency perspectives of core and periphery were introduced into the study of the area and affected the research first in an abstract way and later in a more concrete manner. The road from there to criticizing the previous scholarship was short and it was around MERIP and ROMES that such criticism was voiced by Talal Asad, Roger Owen and others. 7 Similarly, political scientists for their part noticed that the 'emergence' of nationalism and the spread of the modern nation-state did not necessarily bring with them democracy and liberalization. The structure could hold other ideologies as well, new or old. It did not require the same levels of legitimization suggested by democratic or liberal precepts. But, more importantly, it became increasingly clear that the West effectively encouraged this development for its own benefit in collaboration with certain local elites while crushing alternative elites and socio-political forces of change in the process. To sum up, what evolved was a less dogmatic and, for some, a far more negative view of modernization, one that opened the way to a possible departure from the concept and its implications altogether.
Alternative views?
The best term to describe an alternative view to the conventional history of the Middle East in the twentieth century is that of 'history from below'. This is the writing of history from the perspective of ordinary people who, even if they are at times exceptional in what they do, are still part of, and not above or outside, their societies. From this perspective, the people cease to be passive peons, but rather are agents of their own destiny and life. It means that history for them can have a much more limited geographical scope than that of the group to which they are associated by such ideologies as nationalism or theories such as modernization and existence and spheres of identity, which are much wider than the ones into which they are cast by these very ideologies and theories. Their history can thus be one with a local community at its centre, one which captures their existence as women, children or workers, rather than as Egyptians or Iranians. Such a history also assumes that culture, emotions and attitudes are not dictates from above, or aspects of life that pertain to the elites alone, but are the concerns of every member of the society. Wh en this view was applied to the history of non-Western societies, other alternative ideas informed the new historiography. How does one write the 'history from below' of the encounter between the West and the Middle East, which dominates the century this book is interested in? An alternative view of the
9
INTRODUCTION
history of the 'interaction' between Western and non-Western societies has only recently come to the fore. It is a synthesis of twin influences on historiography, one coming from cultural anthropology, the other from critical approaches to hermeneutics and literature (cultural studies). Cultural anthropology called for the redefinition of some of the major assumptions of modernization theories because they proved irrelevant as an analysis of what happened to different people living in different parts of the world (including the 'Western' world). From literary criticism and postcolonial hermeneutics came the call to dismiss the more ideological assumptions of modernization theories as anachronistic and abusive, reflecting as they did, not reality, but only an interpretation of reality that some of the critics suspected was motivated by a neo-colonial wish to perpetuate the existing balance of power, knowledge and wealth. As a discipline, anthropology has never coexisted easily with theories of modernization as it does not view human history as a series of dramatic political changes. If it takes place at all, change in the nature of societies is measured and slow. As functional anthropologists saw it, traditional societies underwent hardly any significant transformation as a result of contact with the West. For cultural anthropologists, deconstructing to a certain extent the work of their functionalist colleagues, change was a complex event, at times accentuating traditional patterns of behaviour, at times totally transforming them. Each and every case of the so-called 'encounter' between Western and non-Western societies had to be re-examined in an inductive way before anything general could be said about the orientation, nature and pace of the modernization process. Readers familiar with the Annales school of thought will immediately recognize the meeting point between cultural anthropology and the 'new history' that emerged in France in the 1930s. Historians were asked to make observations on different junctures in the process of change in society in general and to point up the differentiating paces of transformation: moving from the rapid but insignificant political pace on the surface to the very slow, almost non-existent but decisive, morphological, ecological and geo-cultural pace at layers further down. Such observations, once made, exposed the complex interplay between continuity and change. They also led to the collapse of many modernizationist assumptions. The 'non-Westernized' past was still there, and in some aspects it was more egalitarian and democratic or advanced than the present. Change was not instigated from 'above' only, but also from 'below', and could be attributed not only to political elites, whether local or foreign, but, more often, also to processes that had been set in motion long before there had been any contact with the West. With modernization, the status of women in society did not always improve and could even worsen, and tribal power did not always decline. The past proved amenable to change, and its destruction did not always bring progress. In many cases, notwithstanding the dramatic change wrought by colonialism and later by nationalism, the basic relationships within a society remained largely untouched.
IO
INTRODUCTION
Similarly, secularization did not always appear to be an integral part of modernization, wh ether as a cause or as a consequence of the process. Religions proved quite elastic vis-a-vis a changing technological or even political world. More than anything else they succeeded in providing mechanisms of defence and adaptation for the benefit of the non-elite sections of society caught up in the turmoil. In many phases of the process, and in many places around the globe, religion itself became a formidable force of socio-cultural and political change. Viewed through the eyes of anthropological historians, ch ange was a far from linear process and definitely not a harmonious one-Westernization sometimes strengthened traditional modes of behaviour and at others ruptured them. Significantly, the confused picture outlined here at one point also began to have its impact on the terminology employed by modernizationists themselves. Thus, for example, they introduced the concept of 'ruralization', instead of urbanization, to describe the demographic movements from rural areas to the cities. Simi larly, piety and dogmatism in religion were associated with a new developmental phase while the 'old' and 'traditiona,l' practices of Islam before contact with the West were portrayed as so free in spirit that they bordered on the promiscuous. The current generation of anthropologists are less functionalist in their views and no longer analyse a society as history as if it were a series of 'stills' in which politics and economy play no major role. The 'stills' are looked at in their historical context and set against the effect of political changes in the society. Immigrants who left their community but then returned, mass communication, Western imperialism, the integration into world capitalism, all are taken into account when changes in non-Western societies are being analysed. The major shift in attitude is possibly that the West has come to be seen as just one factor of change among others. A new phase in a pl ace's history begins wh en people dissociate themselves from traditional and long-term norms and patterns of behaviour. The evolving drama of change was not always caused by the West, and does not necessarily tell a story of becoming 'Western', but rather one of changing the known and safe world of the past. This revised position is summarized elegantly by Sami Zubaida:
The alternative which I propose and demonstrate is quite different: I argue that the specific situations of various Middle Eastern societies and politics can be analysed in terms of general socio-economic processes. They are 'general' in the sense of applying to different societies and cu ltures, but not in the sense of producing common general patterns of development, as in the case of the various evolutionists. 8
Change is described thus as a process that is universal but with local characteristics. This is a less charged and thus more suitable concept with which we can
II
INTRODUCTION
analyse what happened, or what may have happened, in each and every case, in different areas of life and to different groups of people. This enables our analysis to be more tentative in its overall assumptions and more modest when it comes to judging questions of progress and morality. The most recent development in this critique has been the emergence of a more relativist and multiculturalist approach to knowledge among human scientists. They seem to be more sceptical about their ability to reconstruct the past faithfully. Thus for instance it was recognized that historical facts-as a function of the meaning we assign to events - are arranged into a theoretical explanation that owes much to the historian's own subjective inclinations and disciplinary upbringing and not just to the facts of history. E. P. Thompson put it as follows:
The historical discipline is what is at issue: and particular techniques and a particular disciplinary logic have been devised to that end. But I concede also that the historian, in every moment of his or her work, is a value-formed being, who cannot, when proposing problems or interrogating evidence, in fact operate in this value-free way.9
It was this kind of deconstruction that Edward Said skilfully employed in his allout critique of the West's Orientalist project. It enabled him to expose the colonial agenda behind many Orientalist studies by Western experts decoding the East for the West, revealing how their work was an accumulation and analysis of information for the sake of control and domination. Seen from the perspective of the two main influences on historiography in recent years, cultural anthropology and literary criticism, the history of the Middle East could be written as much as a history of non-elite as of elite groups, a history of change but also of continuity, and of external but also internal dynamics of development. It should make room not only for the narratives of the exploiters but also for those of the exploited, of the invaders but also of the invaded, and of the oppressors but also of the oppressed. Clearly, the subject matter of a reconstructed history of the Middle East should therefore be the peoples of the region, and the subjects being researched should include not only their politics and ideologies but perhaps more also their welfare and well-being. One can no longer choose a single point of departure for a history of the modern Middle East - there may well be several beginnings. Each will be found to represent significant changes-for better or worse -in the lives of people, brought about by the formidable forces of disintegrating empires, nationalism, colonialism and capitalism among others. These different beginnings do not cancel each other out: they illuminate the possibilities open to historical research as much as they accentuate, once more, that what determines the writing of modern histories, is the arbitrary hand given to the historian as a recorder of a country's history.
!2
INTRODUCTION
For Europeans who came to the Middle East, acted in and upon it and finally occupied it, modernity begins with their arrival and with their interests in the region. For local elites, especially the rural ones, modern times begin with the advent of Ottoman centralization and the decline this brought to the power of the rural chieftains as tax collectors and semi-feudals. For the urban Muslim elite, how we define the beginning of modernism depends very much on how ready or willing its members were to extricate themselves from the pax ottomana in the Mashriq, and on their willingness to be co-opted by European colonialism in the Maghrib. For non-Muslim elites in the Mashriq, it was the capitalization of urban life that marked a change, while the European occupation of the Maghrib was a formative moment for these elites. For city dwellers, modern times began with a fundamental deterioration caused by the destruction of traditional welfare systems and the absence of any replacements, coupled with the increase of immigrants coming from the hinterland unable to find suitable accommodation and jobs. Only in the second decade of the twentieth century did workers begin to organize themselves in trade unions, introducing a new and different course of struggle based on classconsciousness, which then again was totally destroyed once decolonization had ended and nationalism triumphed. Similarly, in the rural areas, modern times signalled the disappearance of egalitarian modes of production and co-operative arable farming, to make room for cash crops and peasant tenancy. Semi-feudalism was also weakened in the process, as it signalled a greater change in the position of landowners than in that of the peasants. For most peasants, the modern phase began with the move from a secure, albeit quite poor life in the countryside, to an insecure and often even poorer existence in urban centres. From agricultural producers they became, throughout the Middle East, either low-paid tenants, or unemployed, or underemployed immigrants in the shanty towns circling the major cities of the area. For rural women, modernity meant more exposure to external presence which aggravated misogynist attitudes already existing in the rural areas. In town and village alike, the protection that Shari' ah law granted women was lost in the new judicial reforms, creating a vacuum not filled for some time by any feminist legislation. For children, inclusion in the expanding educational system and exposure to a wider array of subjects depended, as in the past, on their parents' economic capabilities. Only with the nationalization of societies in the Middle East were women and children pulled into a different, modern, phase in history. Nomads entered a new stage with (often forced) settlement, which effectively destroyed them as an influential group. No longer able to benefit from the egalitarian nature of their society and their patriarchal and clannish characteristics, they found themselves relegated to the margins of the new social order.
13
INTRODUCTION
Different human groups in the region were transforming at different points in time; some are still in the process even as this book is being written. This is why the history of the Middle East is a contemporary historiography of a contemporary process: a situation that requires caution of the historians before they make categorical assumptions about how 'modern', 'Westernized' or 'Islamized' is the contemporary Middle East. Quite often these discrete groups formed powerful coalitions that have dramatically transformed the history of their societies. When one views such coalitions as rare moments of collaboration between various groups at one given moment, one is provided with a deeper understanding of political revolutions. Rather than attributing these dramatic eruptions in the twentieth century to 'politics' alone, the new non-elite and interdisciplinary research charts more carefully the motives, hopes and conduct of all the factors involved in such revolutionary moments. We have a fine example of such a comprehensive analysis of the 1906 constitutional revolution in Iran (of which more is said below, pp. 19-20). Whereas in the past the revolution was seen as a purely political event, this new research narrates it as a social and cultural transformation of Iranian society that had gender, multiclass and multicultural dimensions. The mundane as well as the most dramatic moments of the history of the Middle East in the twentieth century are the main object of this book. This is why the topic of the first chapter of this book, the political and econimic background, remains a more marginal theme. This is not meant to underestimate the importance of political and economic developments, but rather to stress that the macrohistory was most of the time outside the realm of what mattered for the heroes and heroines of this book, the people of the Middle East. Moreover, it seems that the political and economic developments of the last quarter of the century belong more to a book that would summarize the twenty-first century rather than the twentieth which is the focus of this book. New processes have begun, and in between the two editions of this book our understanding of them has kept changing, and still does. The more structural side of life - the social fabric, cultural identity, gender relations and similar realms - are slower to change and what was written about them a few years ago is still relevant now that the first decade of the twenty-first century is coming to a close.

تلخيص النصوص العربية والإنجليزية أونلاين

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تلخيص النصوص العربية والإنجليزية اليا باستخدام الخوارزميات الإحصائية وترتيب وأهمية الجمل في النص

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