Since the end of World War I, the people of the Middle East have lived – from Turkey to Iraq – in a world created by Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George, and Georges Clemenceau. From the outset, the victorious powers of the War, especially Wilson, paid lip service to the principle of self-determination in addressing various nationalities, but they soon realized this great principle can be a double-edged sword whose use could cost them dearly – in casualties as well as capital. Western and regional powers resolved this dilemma by installing a system of states in the Middle East, in the name of self-determination, which was in fact appallingly unfair and feeble. Implementation of this policy in the face of multi-ethnic milieus and complexities, where the dominant group constituted no more than 50 percent of the population, had disastrous consequences and fractured the social landscape of the region into distinct camps of winners and losers.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
This is from the 2022 issue, publication of this issue was delayed until Aug 2023.