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Title: The 'invention' of Palestinian citizenship : discourses and practices, 1918-1937
Author: Banko, Lauren Elizabeth
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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The dissertation contextualizes the unique creation of citizenship during the first two decades of the British-administered Palestine Mandate. It emphasises the mandate's quasicolonial regime in order to understand how the British officials and the Palestinian Arabs understood and actively practiced citizenship and the rights associated with that status. The aim of the dissertation is to offer a historical analysis of the legislation, discourses, practices and expressions of Palestinian nationality and citizenship. In doing so, it finds that nationality and citizenship became less like abstract concepts and more like statuses integrated into political, social and civil life and as markers of civic identity in a changing society. British officials in London and in Jerusalem crafted Palestinian nationality and citizenship in order to ensure that these statuses reflected the policy of support for a Jewish national home in Palestine. The thesis examines the topic by analysing both the British colonial perceptions and subsequent legislation of citizenship in Palestine and the reactions by the Arab population to the transition from Ottoman subjecthood to the new status of Palestinian citizens within the larger British colonial empire. I argue that the native population relied heavily on their prewar experience as nationals of the Ottoman Empire, a status granted by both jus sanguinis and jus soli provisions, as a basis for their contestation over mandate citizenship. Meanwhile, British officials crafted citizenship to be separate from nationality based on prior colonial legislation elsewhere, a view of the territory as divided communally, and the need to offer Jewish immigrants the easiest path to acquisition of Palestinian citizenship in order to uphold the mandate's policy. From 1918 throughout the Palestine Revolt that began in 1936, the institutionalisation of citizenship effectively distinguished between Jewish and Arab citizens and allowed for the administration to treat the citizenship status each group differently.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral