The problems involved in the analysis of the recent economic and social history of Palestine are formidable. Some of them stem from the usual difficulties which face anyone trying to examine the structures and processes belonging to any part of the non-European world in the days before reliable censuses or an adequate survey of the pattern of rural landholding. But others, of course, derive directly from Palestine’s own special history as a country in which the role of politics—and of sudden political change—has been unusually large. The invasion of the country by the British in 1917, the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967, all represent abrupt changes of regime with enormous conse-quences for local economic and social arrangements. More insidiously, the constant play of passion and political calculation has meant that much of the information which does exist has been coloured to a greater or lesser extent by the way in which it has been used to support this or that tendentious argument, this or that piece of special pleading.


Social History Capitalist Sector Israeli Occupation Internal Labour Migration Palestinian Society 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    For example, C. Issawi (ed.), The Economic History of the Middle East, 1800–1914 (Chicago, 1966), pt.iv, ch.3.Google Scholar
  2. R. Owen The Middle East in the World Economy, 1800–1914 (London, 1981) chs.6, 10.Google Scholar
  3. B.J. Smith, ‘British Economic Policy in Palestine towards the Development of the Jewish National Home, 1920–1929’, D.Phil. (Oxford, 1978) pp.224–6.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    For example, Sir John Hope-Simpson, Report on Immigration, Land Settlement and Development (London, 1930) pp.31ff.Google Scholar
  5. S. Schama, Two Rothschilds and the Land of Israel (London, 1978) chs.3–5;Google Scholar
  6. D. Giladi, ‘The Agronomic Development of the Old Colonies in Palestine, 1882–1914’, in M. Ma’oz (ed.), Studies on Palestine during the Ottoman Period (Jerusalem, 1975) pp. 175–89.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    For example, Y. N. Miller, ‘Administrative Policy in Rural Palestine: The Impact of British Norms on Arab Community Life, 1920–1948’, in J.S. Migdal (ed.), Palestinian Society and Politics (Princeton, NJ, 1980) pp. 124–45.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    D. Horowitz and M. Lissak, Origins of the Israeli Polity: Palestine under the Mandate (Chicago and London, 1978) pp.3–4, 34;Google Scholar
  9. R. Szereszewski, Essays on the Structure of the Jewish Economy in Palestine and Israel (Jerusalem, 1968), pp.1ff.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    For example, D. Horowitz, ‘Arab Economy in Palestine’, in J.B. Hobman (ed.), Palestine’s Economic Future (London, 1946).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© St Antony’s College, Oxford 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Owen

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