Territory, Identity, and Governance: Creating Order from Disorder

Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)


With the process of racialization placing emphasis on identity markers and the pressure placed on the Ottoman Empire to engage in modernization reforms in the nineteenth century, there was a changing dynamic between territory, identity, and governance. In the first instance, discussed in this chapter, is the territorialization of Mount Lebanon with the policy of split authority and governance between the Maronite and Druze communities. This altered intercommunal relations by dividing the populations and systems of governance, and erasing practices of shared governance in Mount Lebanon. In addition to the transforming relations between territory, identity, and governance in Mount Lebanon, having particular consequences for the development of a national conception of Greater Lebanon, more explicit reforms were also developed; including the Land Code of 1858. This reform was an attempt to modernize land tenure throughout the Ottoman Empire, bringing the Empire into closer alignment with European states, and facilitating the development of governance through territorial organization. Noted in this chapter is how this reform skewed domestic relations by providing political and economic elites the opportunity to extend their influence into new geographies. Additionally, it discusses how pressure from European states necessitated Ottoman imperial expansion by formalizing control over the sedentary and nomadic tribes.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies, School of Languages, Cultures, and SocietiesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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