Sheikh and Pasha: Ottoman government in the syrian desert and the creation of modern tribal leadership

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Abstract

Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, the Ottoman authorities in Syria incorporated parts of the desert into the territory under their direct rule. An important element of this policy was the government's integration of the leaders of powerful tribal confederacies into its administrative structures in return for material gains. The article argues that this policy changed the nature of tribal leadership and injected greater stability into a power structure that had been precarious. As a result, Ottoman tribal policy created stronger sheikhs with a new measure of authority and a more secure position of leadership within the confederacy, which allowed them to form more enduring hereditary lines of succession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-472
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Banī akhr
  • Bedouin
  • Nomads
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Sheikhs
  • State
  • Syrian Desert
  • Transjordan
  • Tribes

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