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Palgrave Macmillan

European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine, 1918–1948

Between Contention and Connection

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  • Open Access
  • © 2021

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  • Reframes the relationships between Jews, Muslims and Christians of Mandate Palestine, based on unexplored archival data

  • Explores the motivations of Western and Eastern European cultural policies and their impact in this region

  • Uncovers the diversity of Arab Christian cultural identity and nationalism

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Table of contents (21 chapters)


About this book

This open access book investigates the transnationally connected history of Arab Christian communities in Palestine during the British Mandate (1918-1948) through the lens of the birth of cultural diplomacy. Relying predominantly on unpublished sources, it examines the relationship between European cultural agendas and local identity formation processes and discusses the social and religious transformations of Arab Christian communities in Palestine via cultural lenses from an entangled perspective. 

The 17 chapters reflect diverse research interests, from case studies of individual archives to chapters that question the concept of cultural diplomacy more generally. They illustrate the diversity of scholarship that enables a broad-based view of how cultural diplomacy functioned during the interwar period, but also the ways in which its meanings have changed. The book considers British Mandate Palestine as an internationalized node within a transnational framework to understand how the complexity of cultural interactions and agencies engaged to produce new modes of modernity.


“In addition to some particularly impressive arguments presented here, the complete volume is invaluable for scholars in the field … . From the Swedish School to the politics and culture of archaeological exploration and dig sites, to an examination of the Palestinian novel, the shared effort [in this book] to better understand the history of Palestine’s Christians and their relationship to the broad world is an essential step in our understanding of this important minority group.” (Noah Haiduc-Dale, REMMM Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée, Vol. 150, 2021) “For students of cultural diplomacy, Mandate Palestine is marvellously complex. It involved not only Muslims and Jews but also manifold Christian communities, European governments, and foreign religious and secular missions, among others. And its cultural diplomatic actors helped shape various interplaying national, confessional, and imperial identities. Just as complex were the results, as this wonderful and wide-ranging volume shows. Varying wildly, state and non-state cultural diplomacy could be dialogue, dissent, propaganda, and more. A fascinating read for historians of the interwar Middle East and cultural diplomacy alike.” (Cyrus Schayegh, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Switzerland)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands

    Karène Sanchez Summerer, Sary Zananiri

About the editors

Karène Sanchez Summerer is Associate Professor at Leiden University, the Netherlands.  

Sary Zananiri is Postdoctoral Fellow at Leiden University, the Netherlands.  

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: European Cultural Diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine, 1918–1948

  • Book Subtitle: Between Contention and Connection

  • Editors: Karène Sanchez Summerer, Sary Zananiri

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-55539-9Published: 01 December 2020

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-55542-9Published: 12 December 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-55540-5Published: 30 November 2020

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIII, 465

  • Number of Illustrations: 21 b/w illustrations, 11 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Cultural History, History, general, History of the Middle East, History of Religion

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