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For God and La Patrie: Antonin Jaussen, Dominican Priest and and French Intelligence Agent in the Middle East

Mazza, Roberto and Ouhes, Idir (2012) 'For God and La Patrie: Antonin Jaussen, Dominican Priest and and French Intelligence Agent in the Middle East.' First World War Studies, 3 (2). pp. 145-164.

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Abstract

The study of the First World War in the Middle East has been dominated by diplomatic and military scholars. A new breed of historians and sociologists has attempted to look at the ways in which Middle Eastern societies were reshaped by the war. This article seeks to demonstrate how specialized historical, cultural and social knowledge was put to use by the French intelligence in the Middle East, during the First World War. By looking at the case of Dominican Father Antonin Jaussen, this article will reveal the limits of the use of Oriental knowledge as a mechanism of modernity as well as its impact on this period on the history of the Middle East, suggesting that this method became a leading principle in the post-war era. The case of Father Jaussen suggests that Orientalist knowledge for calculating wartime exigencies set the stage for the use of these very methods in the post-war, state-building era. This essay is finally intended to serve as both an opening to further research on specific subjects such as Jaussen, and as a call to develop new historiographical tactics when dealing with issues that connect European and Middle Eastern actors and structures. Jaussen and many other European actors still to be examined in depth, also inadvertently implanted and encouraged the seeds of bureaucratic and intellectually hierarchical statecraft by the very methods they used.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/19475020.2012.728735
Depositing User: Dr Roberto Mazza
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2012 10:40
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/14662

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