Colonial misunderstanding of an efficient peasant institution: Land settlement and mush tenure in mandate palestine, 1921-47

Amos Nadan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The accepted wisdom is that the mushā in Palestine was an archaic system that blocked any chance of development, since no one had any inducement to improve his land. But this study of the mushā, as part of a set of institutions, contradicts that wisdom. The mush in Palestine was an efficient, dynamic economic institution that facilitated investment. There was no need for land reform, which only proved destructive to the economy of the fallāhīn. It nullified the advantages inherent in the system and, unexpectedly, facilitated the transfer of lands from Arabs to Jews.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-354
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2003

Keywords

  • Jewish land purchase
  • institutional change
  • land reform
  • musha
  • peasant efficiency

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