Keith David Watenpaugh
Other affiliations: University of California, Los Angeles
Bio: Keith David Watenpaugh is an academic researcher from University of California, Davis. The author has contributed to research in topics: Genocide & Armenian. The author has an hindex of 8, co-authored 16 publications receiving 238 citations. Previous affiliations of Keith David Watenpaugh include University of California, Los Angeles.
TL;DR: The essay centers of the efforts by the League of Nations to rescue women and children survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, which was at once a constitutive act in drawing the boundaries of the international community, a key moment in the definition of humanitarianism, and a site of resistance to the colonial presence in the post-Ottoman Eastern Mediterranean.
Abstract: The essay centers of the efforts by the League of Nations to rescue women and children survivors of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. This rescue -- a seemingly unambiguous good -- was at once a constitutive act in drawing the boundaries of the international community, a key moment in the definition of humanitarianism, and a site of resistance to the colonial presence in the post-Ottoman Eastern Mediterranean. Drawing from a wide range of source materials in a number of languages, including Turkish, Armenian, and Arabic, the essay brings the intellectual and social context of humanitarianism in initiating societies together with the lived experience of humanitarianism in the places where the act took form. In so doing, it draws our attention to the proper place of the Eastern mediterranean, and its women and children, in the global history of humanitarianism. The prevailing narrative of the history of human rights places much of its emphasis on the post-World War II era, the international reaction to the Holocaust, and the founding of the United Nations. yet contemporary human rights thinking also took place within practices of humanitarianism in the interwar period, and is necessarily inseparable from the histories of refugees, colonialism, and the non-West.
01 May 2015
TL;DR: Al-Arsuzi and others, recognizing the weakness inherent in this form of nationalism, drew away from its leadership in the course of the 1930s and moved to create other, more radical and militant Pan-Arabist groups as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: This quotation may be nothing more than a well-turned phrase by its author, Zaki al-Arsuzi. Nonetheless, it illustrates a dilemma that young men like him faced in the troubled years preceding Syrian independence: As French-educated young men, should they take their places as minor functionaries in the colonial machine and accept the promise of a comfortable and privileged life, or should they join the growing political and ideological struggle to found an independent, national statein Syria? Al-Arsuzi, who is venerated by the current regime in Damascus as the ideological father of Baʾthism, went on to answer this question by spending the next eight years in and out ofthe former Ottoman province of Alexandretta, working in support of the Arab-nationalist cause. Both his contemporary writings and later recollections of the period reveal a growing political consciousness and the formulation of a complex Arabism that was at odds with the dominant ideology emanating from the large cities of Syria. This ideology, as embodied by the National Bloc government in Damascus, was personality-based, hamstrung by European colonial interests, and unable to arouse any sustained political sensibility in the broader population; it centered its political legitimacy and parochial brand of nationalism on opposition to the French occupation. Al-Arsuzi and others, recognizing the weakness inherent in this form of nationalism, drew away from its leadership in the course of the 1930s and moved to create other, more radical and militant Pan-Arabist groups.
01 Jan 2015
19 Dec 2014
01 Aug 2016
01 Feb 2020
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors address the question of how states, meaning organized political communities, were historically able to secure their sovereignty through gaining the recognition of other states by reinterpreting aspects of the existing Ottoman legacy of statehood and international norms.
Abstract: This thesis addresses the question of how states, meaning organised political communities, were historically able to secure their sovereignty through gaining the recognition of other states. As sovereignty refers to the presence of a state’s authority, its existence is premised on states and other internal and external actors recognising claims to sovereignty. Therefore, states, such as the Ottoman Empire, which historically had a different understanding of legitimacy, faced challenges to their sovereignty following the emergence of new global understandings of sovereignty in the late nineteenth century. The Ottoman Empire was distinct in that it was the only Islamic state that was not subject to and was able to avoid completely falling under the influence of then-dominant European states. However, the Ottoman Empire still experienced European intervention and there was a desire to end forms of European extraterritorial jurisdiction. Ottoman elites, who were affiliated with the reformist Young Turks, sought to secure recognition of their state’s sovereignty by reconstituting it along novel international standards of legitimate statehood. These standards were based on the concepts of “civilised”, “militarist”, “popular” and “national” statehood, and were reinterpreted by the Young Turks in the course of their efforts to secure the recognition of European powers. These efforts included diplomacy with European powers, institutional reform and conceptual innovation. However, it also involved engaging in practices associated with sovereignty such as the control of territory. In all of these areas, the Young Turks reinterpreted aspects of the existing Ottoman legacy of statehood and international norms, to secure their claim to sovereignty. Therefore, the Ottoman state elites sought to convey an impression of governing a state that could be recognised as sovereign by other European powers. Ultimately, the remnants of the Young Turks, secured international recognition of their state, reconstituted as the nation-state of Turkey in 1923.
TL;DR: The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians by Donald Bloxham as mentioned in this paper is a seminal work in the field of historical inquiry.
Abstract: ARMENIANS The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians, by Donald Bloxham. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2005. xiv + 234 pages. Maps. Photos. Notes to p. 285. Bibl. to p. 311. Index to p. 329. $35. Donald Bloxham's The Great Game of Genocide is a uniquely important contribution to a bitterly divided field of historical inquiry, and it is certain to generate controversy in and of itself. Bloxham, presently on the faculty of the University of Edinburgh, has previously written on the Holocaust war crimes trials and has now cast his critical eye on the destruction of the Ottoman Armenians that occurred from 1915 through 1923. His latest effort represents a significant revision to our contemporary understanding of the origins of the Armenian genocide. The book is organized broadly in three parts: the historical evolution of the destruction of the Armenians; the responsibility and reaction of the international community; and the effects of a campaign of denial waged by the modern Turkish Republic. In the first part, Bloxham details the internationalization of the Armenian problem, the rise of Armenian nationalism, the Ottoman reprisals and ethnic cleansing, and defines his view that the Armenian genocide was the product of a cumulative radicalization of the Committee of Union and Progress' (CUP) policies towards the Armenians. One of his major points here is the idea that localized massacres of Armenians led to a generalized policy of extermination as the Armenian insurgency provided the CUP with a tenuous proximate cause for deportation. He builds a case that the CUP engaged in violent population engineering based on a developing Turkish ethnicity and that this continued into the early Republican era. In the second part, Bloxham contradicts the widely held view that the German Empire was a co-conspirator in the destruction of the Armenians and also presents the idea that the Entente used the Armenians, at many levels, for its own ends (thus the allusion to the manipulations of the Great Game). In the third part, he steps into modern geopolitics by addressing America's support of the modern Turkish Republic's position of denial. Bloxham concludes with the point that recognition of the genocide by the Turks and by those who obfuscate the truth would be meaningful for both modern Armenians and for the world. Bloxham's work, then, is not only a history, but also a complex running commentary of how an historical event intersects with the modern world. Parts of The Great Game of Genocide will irritate constituencies that have a vested interest in partisan interpretations of these events. …
TL;DR: In this paper, a review illustrates three characteristics of cosmopolitanism in Middle East historiography: elitism in formulation and content, grieving nostalgia, and the privileging of formal labels over content.
Abstract: Political philosophers and cultural theorists studying twenty-first-century globalization have found cosmopolitanism to be a productive concept. In Middle East scholarship, however, cosmopolitan has been less than effective. This review illustrates three characteristics of cosmopolitanism in Middle East historiography – elitism in formulation and content, grieving nostalgia, and the privileging of formal labels over content – with examples from nineteenth-century cities and globalized metropolises. Scholars must confront the anti-nationalist teleology and secularizing, bourgeois fantasy at the heart of cosmopolitanism as it is currently used if they are to produced more accurate accounts of diversity in Middle East societies past and present.