This chapter provides a background to the scope of this book's study on colonial policies in Palestine. The book focuses on the contexts in which imported ideas and presumptions about land were continually being adapted to changing circumstances. Abstract theories of property informed official policies, but analysis of colonial land policies is best anchored in specific historical developments. It is the highly contextualised nature of land policy that this book hopes to capture for the case of Palestine in the inter-war years. The book aims to reveal the nature of colonial land policies in Palestine as ad hoc and makeshift, multidirectional and inconsistent, even contradictory. It attempts to untangle colonial land policies by specifically addressing the utilitarian set of expectations which colonial officials themselves held about the proper role secure and individual property rights were expected to play.
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