A New History of the Eastern Question: Imperialism, Security and Civil Wars in Mount Lebanon

31 March 2022

This event is proudly presented in partnership with the British Institute at Ankara.

From Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 to the foreign armed interventions in the ongoing civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya today, global empires or the so-called Great Powers have long assumed the responsibility to bring security in the Middle East. In this book talk, Ozan Ozavci will revisit the nineteenth-century origins of these imperial security practices and discuss the early history of Great Power interventions in Mount Lebanon. Why did foreign interventions in Mount Lebanon tend to result in further turmoil and civil wars? He will embed this highly pertinent genealogical account into a new history of the Eastern Question and reconsider the validity of the prevailing arguments in the literature about the birth of sectarianism in Lebanon.

Register for this event here.

About the speaker: 

Ozan Özavcı is Assistant Professor of Transimperial History at Utrecht University. His most recent monograph titled Dangerous Gifts: Imperialism, Security, and Civil Wars in the Levant, 1798-1864 was published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Dr Ozavci is currently finalising his third monograph on the two Istanbul embassies of the Scottish diplomat Sir Robert Liston at the turn of the nineteenth century. He is also co-convenor of the Lausanne Project and the Security History Network, which will be launched in April 2022.