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I. Introduction: Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the greater Middle East

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Chapter Summary

The Greater Middle East’s (GME’s) borders stretch from Morocco on the Atlantic coast via the seaboard countries of the Mediterranean to the periphery of the Caucasus Mountains and shores of the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Red Sea. From the mid-nineteenth century, politics and societies in the region under study were connected to actors from first-industrializing European countries through the expansion of the latter. Many Muslim countries of the GME have failed to successfully transform from an agricultural to an urban industrial economy and to overcome the structural heterogeneity that is the legacy of colonialism and imperialism. The Industrial revolution brought about a fundamental change of the global system, having also a tremendous effect on the state system. Until the mid-nineteenth century, today’s GME countries were part of the three great Islamic empires of Mughal-India (1526–1707), Safavid- Persia (1500–1722), and the Ottomans (1299–1922).

Keywords: Greater Middle East (GME); imperialism; industrial economy; Industrial revolution; Ottomans; Persian Gulf



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