Britain and the Politics of Modernization in the Middle East, 1945-1958

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In an historically informed critique of development assistance, Paul Kingston examines Britain's foreign aid program in the Middle East in the 1940s and 1950s. Focusing on the debates among British experts, their American rivals, and Middle Eastern technocrats over development policy, the author raises important questions about the nature of the development process in the Middle East and Third World generally. The book will be of interest to development practitioners and to scholars in development studies, as well as to students of Middle East and imperial history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is highly recommended not only to those who are interested in Britain and the Middle East, but to those concerned about the developing world, particularly the high hopes and deep disappointments associated with U.S. modernizers worldwide from the launching of the Marshall Plan in Europe and President Truman's Point Four Program to the disappointments and devastations in Vietnam. This well researched and argued book is the fourth in Cambridge Middle East Studies, a very promising new series..." Roger Adelson, Historian

" It is scholarly and judicious, and should prove to be of interest to practitioners in the field, as well as to students of Middle Eastern and Imperial history." Ritchie Ovendale, International History Review

"The work should be of interest to scholars of development and to historians curious about Britain's postwar policies in the Middle East." William L. Cleveland, Canadian Journal of History

"This is a stimulating book about the British political economy in the Middle East at a crucial transitional period from dependency on Britain to independence. This tudy also provides a detailed insight into how development assistance policies are formulated, implemented, and evaluated, a useful subject for on-going development projects world-wide." Khaled Salih, Digest of Middle East Studies

"The points where this book sparkles-especially the section on Jordan-will hopefully inspire others to make much needed efforts to add to the literature on the subject." Jon B. Alterman, Middle East Journals

"...the presentation is clearly written....there is certainly value in a study that relates foreign policy....providing the first study of the BMEO, certainly furnishes one new piece to the overall historical puzzle." Albion

"This is a lively and thoughtful account of British 'development' efforts in various Middles Eastern countries during the years immediately following World War II. Kingston has written a succinct and perceptive memoir of a decent and dedicated band of individuals whose efforts evidently deserve the affectionate attention he has given them. Peter Sluglett, Int'l Jrnl of Middle East Studies

"This well researched and lucidly analyzed study of Britain's foreign aid program to the Middle East is a key addition to the literature on the theory and practice of development assistance." Ahmed H. Ibrahim, MESA Bulletin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521894395
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/7/2002
  • Series: Cambridge Middle East Studies Series, #4
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Britain, peasants and Pashas: debating approaches to modernization in the post-war Middle East; 2. Imperial dreams and delusions: the economics of promoting Middle East development; 3. The British Middle East Office and the abandonment of imperial approaches to modernization; 4. The British Middle East Office and the politics of modernization in Iran, 1945–51; 5. The British Middle East Office and the politics of modernization in Iraq, 1945–58; 6. The British Middle East Office and the politics of modernization in Jordan, 1951–8; Conclusion.

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