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Title: Reformers, rulers, and British residents : political relations in Bahrain (1923-1956)
Author: Al-Dailami, Ahmed Mahmood
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 8080
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores the modern historical lineage of absolutism in Bahrain, and the history of challenges to absolutist state authority during the peak of British influence in the Persian Gulf, the period between the First World War to the Suez crisis of 1956. It rewrites the history of Bahrain and British colonialism in the Persian Gulf through two distinct narrative threads. First, it presents a new history of the colonial-dynastic state in Bahrain and the longer tradition of indirect rule from which its architects drew, and second, it retrieves the history of the popular movements that came to challenge it. This entails an examination of not only how colonial and dynastic authority was jointly exercised, but the ideas that justified such authority over a population conceived of as a set of cultural, and more specifically religious communities governed by their own 'custom' - the conceptual centerpiece of indirect colonial rule. Both these narrative strands constitute part of a broader history of the ideological clash between late colonial ideologies of rule and anticolonial nationalism in the twentieth-century Persian Gulf - a region that was never formally colonized, nor became the site of any successful popular nationalism. Yet both these forces exerted a profound influence on the nation-states that would emerge in the late twentieth century, especially on Bahrain. To chart that historical conjuncture, the thesis begins with the creation of the modern colonial-dynastic state in Bahrain in 1923. It ends in 1956 with the last and most important uprising in Bahrain's during the 20th century, one that was largely a revolt against the political and institutional structures that colonial reformers had established three decades earlier. At its broadest, the thesis argues that the process of state-building under indirect colonial rule in Bahrain derived from a body of colonial thought on native political life and behaviour, and particularly, on the prevention of rebellion that has its origins in mid nineteenth century North India. In Bahrain and the Persian Gulf, as elsewhere in the late colonial world, ideas about empire, the state, authority and rebellion are the intertwined threads that shaped political life and the prose of history.
Supervisor: Rogan, Eugene ; Armbrust, Walter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Persian Gulf States--Foreign relations--Great Britain ; Great Britain--Foreign relations--Persian Gulf States ; Bahrain--Politics and government--20th century ; Bahrain--History--20th century