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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the book Liberal Thought in the Eastern Mediterranean: Late 19th Century until the 1960s. The book is in three parts. The first focuses on the impact of the West in the form of Protestant mission, the mandate system and education policies. The second turns to the authochtonous factors: the struggle for political and constitutional rights and the realities of constitutional government. The third points to some of the immanent ambiguities of liberal thought in the Eastern Mediterranean: the concept of nation and civilization, individualism and subjectivity, and, last but not least, freedom of opinion and the simultaneous proclivity of some intellectuals to fall prey to its utmost opposite: authoritarian ideologies. The editing process of this book started with the rather open heuristic notion of ?liberal thought,? leaving room for the contributors to define their own theoretical concepts and methodological approaches.

Keywords: authoritarian ideologies; constitutional government; Eastern Mediterranean; liberal thought; Protestant mission

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