Philippe Bourmaud - Enquiries, moral entrepreneurs and experts: the making of health and social problems from the late Ottoman Empire to the Middle East mandates - 23/11/2015

Lundi 23 novembre 2015 à 16h à l'IFEA
Philippe Bourmaud (IFEA-CNRS)
Intervention en anglais

Enquiries, moral entrepreneurs and experts: the making of health and social problems from the late Ottoman Empire to the Middle East mandates

            The presentation will tackle whether public problems are a yardstick to understand the changes in policy making, from Ottoman to mandatory rule. The 1908 Ottoman revolution brought political questions in the open in the columns of the many new newspapers. The establishment of the Mandates system in the Levant after World War I dictated policy obligations, subjected to the oversight of the League of Nations. These included such global concerns as tuberculosis, venereal diseases, malaria, alcoholism and drug addiction.

These new policy issues did not come out of the blue. As constructivist analysts have underlined, public problems can only emerge if specific actors create an awareness about them or suggest political solutions. The late Ottoman and mandate period saw the emergence of such actors, cause entrepreneurs and experts. This raises two main questions. Did their constructions of public problems reflect local concerns? And did the constructions of public problems promoted by those actors indeed influence public policies? Cause entrepreneurs and experts often had an interest in following foreign or international agendas, which could boost their career and accelerate their recognition as specialists. Yet those same actors often displayed a nationalist worldview, which would lead them to reformulate global concerns in local context, and press for enquiries to demonstrate the national relevance of an issue. This production of data played in the hand of the League of Nations, which gathered and discussed informations about the Mandates, and tried to influence mandatory policies. It certainly changed the way public problems were presented and tackled ; but one way it did this was by providing nationalists with material and arguments to show mandatory rule failed to reach its goal, and thus denounce its colonial nature."

Lu 10089 fois Dernière modification le Mercredi, 25 Novembre 2015 11:44

ico newsletter