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Creating a country through currency and stamps: state symbols and nation-building in British-ruled Palestine

Wallach, Yair (2011) 'Creating a country through currency and stamps: state symbols and nation-building in British-ruled Palestine.' Nations and Nationalism, 17 (1). pp. 129-147.

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Abstract

Recent studies have examined the use of currency and stamps for nation-building in various contexts, with these artefacts seen as vehicles for indoc- trination and gaining legitimacy by ruling elites – as a form of ‘‘banal nationalism’’. This article goes further to argue that in moments of geopolitical upheaval, these symbolic artefacts can play a crucial role in shaping the very framework of nation- hood. This article focuses on the Middle East during World War I and its aftermath, and on British efforts to shape public opinion through the issuing of Palestine postage stamps and currency (1920–7), which were intended to convey Britain’s commitment to Zionism. Parallels are drawn to the introduction of Arab stamps and flags during the Arab Revolt (1916–18). The benefit to Zionist nation-building and ‘‘Hebrew Revival’’ is discussed, as well as the strikingly different reactions of local constituencies – Arabs and Jews – to the political message of these symbolic objects.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
ISSN: 13545078
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1111/j.1469-8129.2010.00470.x
Depositing User: Yair Wallach
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2012 09:06
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/13832

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