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    Rodríguez Caparrini, Bernardo 2014. Alumnos españoles en el internado jesuita de Beaumont (Old Windsor, Inglaterra), 1880-1886. Hispania Sacra, Vol. 66, Issue. Extra_1, p. 403.


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  • Comparative Studies in Society and History, Volume 55, Issue 2
  • April 2013, pp. 305-329

Jurisdictional Borderlands: Extraterritoriality and “Legal Chameleons” in Precolonial Alexandria, 1840–1870

  • Ziad Fahmy (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0010417513000042
  • Published online: 03 April 2013
Abstract
Abstract

This essay highlights the role of thousands of nineteenth-century Alexandrian residents with multiple extraterritorial legal identities. The manner with which extraterritoriality was practiced in Egypt effectively gave Western consulates legal jurisdiction not only over their citizens but also over all those able, through whatever means, to acquire protégé status. Many Alexandrians acquired legal protection from multiple consulates, shifting their legal identities in order to maximize their immediate social and economic interests. These legal realities present historians with the dilemma of how to account for and “classify” this highly flexible and syncretic society. I strive to answer this question through the use of a borderland lens. Realizing that the heart of Egypt's borderland society was legal has led me to consider the concept of “jurisdictional borderland” as a productive method for examining the complexity of Egypt's nineteenth-century heterogeneous population. I define a jurisdictional borderland as a significant contact zone where there are multiple, often competing legal authorities and where some level of jurisdictional ambiguity exists. Jurisdictional borderlanders have their own unique and independent agenda that often conflicts with many of the competing “national” or imperial positions. Without an allegiance to any single government—be it Egyptian, Ottoman, or Western—and living in a peripheral environment with multiple, separate, and often competing “national” institutions, these borderlanders thrived in the jurisdictional spaces created in between multiple authorities. I conclude by suggesting how a jurisdictional borderland lens is useful for globally investigating other colonial and precolonial cities, many of which had similar extraterritorial legal systems.

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zaf3@cornell.edu
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Maya Jasanoff, “Cosmopolitan: A Tale of Identity from Ottoman Alexandria,” Common Knowledge 11, 3 (2005): 393409

Henk Driessen, “Mediterranean Port Cities: Cosmopolitanism Reconsidered,” History and Anthropology 16, 1 (2005): 129–41

Will Hanley, “Grieving Cosmopolitanism in Middle East Studies,” History Compass 6, 5 (2008): 1346–67

Jan Goldberg, “On the Origins of Majālis al-Tujjār in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Egypt,” Islamic Law and Society 6, 2 (1999):193223

Michiel Baud and Willem Van Schendel, “Toward a Comparative History of Borderlands,” Journal of World History 8, 2 (1997), 211–42

Evan Haefeli, “A Note on the Use of North American Borderlands,” American Historical Review 104, 4 (Oct. 1999): 1222–25

Ellwyn R. Stoddard, “Frontiers, Borders and Border Segmentation: Toward a Conceptual Clarification,” Journal of Borderland Studies 6, 1 (Spring 1991): 19

Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron, “From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-States, and the Peoples in Between in North American History,” American Historical Review 104, 3 (June 1999): 814–16

Allison Brownwell Tirres, “Lawyers and Legal Borderlands,” American Journal of Legal History 50, 157 (2008–2010): 157–99

Robert Ilbert, “De Beyrouth à Alger, La fin d'un ordre urbain,” Vingtième Siècle. Revue d'histoire 32 (Oct.–Dec. 1991): 1524

Mary Dewhurst Lewis, “Geographies of Power: The Tunisian Civic Order, Jurisdictional Politics, and Imperial Rivalry in the Mediterranean, 1881–1935,” Journal of Modern History 80, 4 (2008): 791830

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Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
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