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The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography$
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Robin Winks

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205661.001.0001

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Formal and Informal Empire in the Middle East

Formal and Informal Empire in the Middle East

(p.416) 27 Formal and Informal Empire in the Middle East
The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume V: Historiography

Peter Sluglett

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the historiography of the rise, consolidation, decline, and ending of British Imperial interests in the Middle East over some 200 years, from the late 18th to the late 20th centuries. Naturally, during this long period the circumstances of, and the rationale for, Britain’s acquisition of influence or territories in this extensive region varied substantially. Chronologically, the chapter starts with the development of Britain’s interest in Iran and Afghanistan at the end of the 18th century, and ends in the third quarter of the 20th century, with the independence of South Yemen (Aden) in 1967 and the creation of the United Arab Emirates in 1972. After this, apart from its continuing lease on the Dhekelia air base in Cyprus, Britain ceased to control any of the physical surface of the region. It is probably fair to say that the last twenty-five years have been the most productive in the historiography of the British Empire in the Middle East, although, increasingly, some of the best work has tended to treat the connection as secondary to some other narrative scheme.

Keywords:   British Empire, historiography, British imperialism, Iran, Afghanistan, Aden, United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Britain

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