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From administrative to political order? Global legal history, the organic law, and the constitution of mandate Syria, 1925–1930

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2021

Adam Mestyan*
Department of History, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0187, USA


This article explores the making of the State of Syria after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. I argue that an event-based approach in global legal history offers a useful perspective for studying the transition from imperial to international and national systems. Drawing on new archival research in France and Saudi Arabia, I focus upon the creation of the 1928 Syrian constitution in the League’s mandate to show the administrative framework of political orders. First, I describe the French administrative logic through the story of the international ‘organic law’. Second, I describe the way the organic law necessitated the Syrian political constitution. The constrained constitutional process resulted in a clash and a compromise about a Muslim president between secularist republicans and exiled, Saudi-related Muslim monarchists. Global history can profit from this approach by rethinking decolonization as administrative reorganization and by focusing on dissenting, non-state actors in state-making.

© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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1 Luṭfī al-Yāfī, Al-Faqīd al-ʿAẓīm Fawzī al-Ghazzī (Our Great Deceased Fawzi al-Ghazzi) (Damascus: s.n., [1929]), 38–49, at 42–3.

2 Lauren Benton and Lisa Ford, Rage for Order – The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1800–1850 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017), 21–4; Linda Colley, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World (New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2021), 8. For studies of national constitutions, see Laura F. Edwards, A Legal History of the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Nation of Rights (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015); Faiz Ahmed, Afghanistan Rising – Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017); Rohit De, A People’s Constitution: The Everyday Life of Law in the Indian Republic (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018).

3 Marcus M. Payk and Roberta Pergher, eds., Beyond Versailles: Sovereignty, Legitimacy, and the Formation of New Polities After the Great War (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019); Dominique Reill, The Fiume Crisis: Life in the Wake of the Habsburg Empire (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2020); Natasha Wheatley and Peter Becker, eds., Remaking Central Europe: The League of Nations and the Former Habsburg Lands (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).

4 Majid Khadduri, ‘Constitutional Development in Syria’, Middle East Journal 5 (1951): 137–60, at 143–4; Dhūqān Qarqūṭ, Taṭawwur al-Ḥaraka al-Waṭaniyya fi Sūriyya, 1920–1939 (The Development of the National Movement in Syria, 1920–1939) (Beirut: Dār al-Ṭalīʿa, 1975), 101–24; Stephen Hemsley Longrigg, Syria and Lebanon under French Mandate (London: Oxford University Press, 1958), 183–5; Philip S. Khoury, Syria and the French Mandate – The Politics of Arab Nationalism (1920–1945) (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), 342; Peter Shambrook, French Imperialism in Syria: 1927–1936 (Reading: Ithaca Press, 1998), [4], 24–5; Khayriyya Qāsimiyya, Al-Raʿīl al-ʿArabī al-Awwal: Ḥayāt wa-Awrāq Nabīh wa-ʿĀdil al-ʿAzma (The First Arab Cavalry: Life and Papers of Nabih and ‘Adil al-‘Azma) (London: Riyad al-Rayyis, 1991), 41; Nathan J. Brown, Constitutions in a Nonconstitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and the Prospects for Accountable Government (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002), 68; D.K. Fieldhouse, Western Imperialism in the Middle East 1914–1958 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 256; Elizabeth Thompson, Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege, and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 53; Eyal Zisser, ‘Writing a Constitution: Constitutional Debates in Syria in the Mandate Period’, in Liberal Thought in the Eastern Mediterranean: Late 19th Century until the 1960s, ed. Christoph Schumann (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 195–216; Karim Atassi, Syria, the Strength of an Idea: The Constitutional Architectures of Its Political Regimes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 101–9.

5 Carl Schmitt, Constitutional Theory, tr. Jeffrey Seitzer (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008), 125.

6 Martin Loughlin, ‘The Concept of Constituent Power’, European Journal of Political Theory 13, no. 2 (2014): 218–37, at 224–5.

7 Noah Feldman, ‘Imposed Constitutionalism’, Connecticut Law Review 37, no. 4 (2005): 857–90; Nehal Bhuta, ‘The Antinomies of Transformative Occupation’, The European Journal of International Law 16, no. 4 (2005): 721–40; Peter M. Stirk, The Politics of Military Occupation (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009); Andrew Arato, Constitution Making Under Occupation: The Politics of Imposed Revolution Iraq (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009); Simon Jackson and Dirk A. Moses, ‘Transformative Occupations in the Modern Middle East’, Humanity 8, no. 2 (2017): 231–46; Sara Kendall, ‘Inscribing the State: Constitution Drafting Manuals as Textual Technologies’, Humanity 11, no. 1 (2020): 101–17.

8 Thomas Duve, ‘What is Global Legal History?’ Comparative Legal History 8, no. 2 (2020): 73–115, at 96; idem, Global Legal History – A Methodological Approach, available at SSRN: (last checked 21 December 2020).

9 Joshua C. Tate et al., eds. Global Legal History: A Comparative Law Perspective (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019).

10 Sebastian Conrad, What Is Global History? (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016), 154–8; C. A. Bayly, Remaking the Modern World 1900–2015: Global Connections and Comparisons (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2018), 7; Jeremy Adelman, “What Is Global History Now?,” Aeon, 2 March 2017; Richard Drayton and David Motadel, ‘Discussion: the Futures of Global History’, Journal of Global History 13, no. 1 (2018): 1–21; Heidi J. S. Tworek, ‘Communicable Disease: Information, Health, and Globalization in the Interwar Period’, The American Historical Review 124, no. 3 (2019): 813–42.

11 Rogers Brubaker, Nationalism Reframed – Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 19.

12 Cynthia Weber and Thomas J. Biersteker, eds., State Sovereignty as Social Construct (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).

13 Frederick Cooper, ‘Routes Out of Empire’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East 37, no. 2 (2017): 406–11.

14 For the argument on violence, see Daniel Neep, Occupying Syria under the French Mandate: Insurgency, Space and State Formation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 2, 18, 19.

15 Quincy Wright, ‘Sovereignty of the Mandates’, The American Journal of International Law 17, no. 4 (1923): 691–703; Ramendra Nath Chowdhuri, International Mandates and Trusteeship Systems: A Comparative Study (Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff, 1955); Antony Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Susan Pedersen, The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015); Sean Andrew Wempe, ‘A League to Preserve Empires: Understanding the Mandates System and Avenues for Further Scholarly Inquiry’, American Historical Review 124, no. 5 (2019): 1723–31.

16 L. Abrams and D. J. Miller, ‘Who Were the French Colonialists? A Reassessment of the Parti Colonial, 1890–1914’, The Historical Journal 19, no. 3 (1976): 685–725; Raoul Girardet, L’idée coloniale en France de 1871 à 1962 (1972; Paris: Hachette Littératures, 2005), 175–224; Marc Lagana, Le parti colonial français (Sillery: Presses de l’Université du Québec, 1990); Julie d’Andurain, Colonialisme ou impérialisme? Le ‘parti colonial’ en pensée et en action (Paris: Hémisphères éditions, 2017).

17 I have used the hitherto closed Papiers Henri Ponsot (143PAAP) in the Centre des Archives Diplomatiques (La Courneuve) (henceforth CADC), the documents in Centre des Archives Diplomatiques (Nantes) (henceforth CADN), and the hitherto unknown Kāmil al-Qaṣṣāb Collection (Majmūʿat Kāmil al-Qaṣṣāb) in the Documents Center (Markaz al-Wathāʾiq) in the King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Foundation (Dārat al-Malik ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz) (in the following MKQ, MW-DMAA) (Riyadh). I thank Clément Noual and Jean-Philippe Dumas for permission to use the Ponsot papers and Shahd Turkistani and Majid Binkhunein for their help to access DMAA. For contemporary Saudi memory-politics, see Rosie Bsheer, The Archive Wars: The Politics of History in Saudi Arabia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2020). Less-quoted archives are indicated at the relevant footnotes.

18 Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009); Natasha Wheatley, ‘Spectral Legal Personality in Interwar International Law: On New Ways of Not Being a State’, Law and History Review 35, no. 3 (2017): 753–87; Megan Donaldson, ‘The League of Nations, Ethiopia and the Making of States’, Humanity 11, no. 1 (2020): 6–31.

19 William H. Sewell, Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), 227–8.

20 William L. Cleveland, Islam Against the West: Shakib Arslan and the Campaign for Islamic Nationalism (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985); L. Carl Brown, Imperial Legacy: The Ottoman Imprint on the Balkans and the Middle East (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996); Selim Deringil, ‘The Ottoman Twilight Zone of the Middle East’, in Reluctant Neighbor: Turkey’s Role in the Middle East, ed. Henri J. Barkey (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 1996), 13–22; Jørgen S. Nielsen, ed., Religion, Ethnicity and Contested Nationhood in the Former Ottoman Space (Leiden: Brill, 2012); Michael Provence, The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017); Cyrus Schayegh, The Middle East and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017); Selim Deringil, The Ottoman Twilight in the Arab Lands: Turkish Memoirs and Testimonies of the Great War (Brighton: Academic Studies Press, 2019).

21 Andrew Arsan and Cyrus Schayegh, eds., The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates (London: Routledge, 2015); Schayegh, The Middle East, 15–20.

22 Umut Özsu, “Ottoman International Law?” in Lâle Can, Michael Christopher Low et al, eds., The Subjects of Ottoman International Law (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2020), 237–45; Ussama Makdisi, Age of Coexistence: The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2019); for religion and minorities see Benjamin Thomas White, The Emergence of Minorities in The Middle East – The Politics of Community in French Mandate Syria (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011).

23 Susan Pedersen, ‘An International Regime in an Age of Empire’, The American Historical Review 124, no. 5 (2019): 1676–80.

24 ‘Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon’, The American Journal of International Law 17, no. 3, [Supplement] (1923): 177–82.

25 Khadduri, ‘Constitutional Development’, 140; Khoury, Syria and the French Mandate, 142, 246–7; Fieldhouse, Western Imperialism, 256, 263; Jean-David Mizrahi, ‘La France et sa politique de mandat en Syrie et au Liban (1920–1939)’, in France, Syrie et Liban 1918–1946: Les ambiguïtés et les dynamiques de la relation mandataire, ed. Nadine Méouchy (Damascus: Presses de l’Ifpo, 2002), 35–71; Māzin Yūsuf Ṣabbāgh, Sijill al-Dustūr al-Sūrī (A Record of the Syrian Constitution) (Damascus: Dār al-Sharq, 2010), 141; Atassi, Syria, the Strength of an Idea, 99.

26 Jean Lapierre, Le mandat français en Syrie, origines, doctrine, exécution - thèse pour le doctorat en droit (Paris: Sirey, 1936), 84–85.

27 James J. Sheehan, ‘The Problem of Sovereignty in European History’, American Historical Review 111, no. (2006): 1–15; Frederick Cooper, Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 153; John Darwin, After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400–2000 (London: Penguin Books, 2007); Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper, Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).

28 Correspondance de Napoléon Ier, vol. 10 (Paris: H. Plon-J. Dumaine, 1862), 128.

29 Protestation du Comité national polonais contre le statut organique & les oukases de Nicolas ([Paris]: H. Fournier, 1832), 3.

30 Aimee M. Genell, ‘Autonomous Provinces and the Problem of “Semi-Sovereignty” in European International Law’, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 18, no. 6 (2016): 533–49; Nobuyoshi Fujinami, ‘Between Sovereignty and Suzerainty: History of the Ottoman Privileged Provinces’, in A World History of Suzerainty: A Modern History of East and West Asia and Translated Concepts, ed. Takashi Okamoto (Tokyo: Toyo Bunko, 2019), 41–69; Davide Rodogno, ‘European Legal Doctrines on Intervention and the Status of the Ottoman Empire within the “Family of Nations” Throughout the Nineteenth Century’, Journal of the History of International Law 18 (2016): 5–41.

31 M. Milovanowitch, Les Traités de garantie au XIXe siècle - étude de droit international et d’histoire diplomatique (Paris: Arthur Rousseau, 1888), 383.

32 Affaires de Tunisie: supplément, avril-mai 1881 (Paris: Impr. Nationale, 1881), 36.

33 Henri Lamba, Code administratif égyptien, contenant les actes et lois organiques du Khédivat, les lois, décrets et règlements administratifs, annotés de la jurisprudence mixte et indigène, les lois financières (Paris: L. Larose et L. Tenin, 1911).

34 Twenty-fifth Congress (1839), Session Three, Chapter XC, 356; Status at Large, Library of Congress, Law Library: (last visited 28 November 2020).

35 For instance, The Revised Codes of the Territory of Dakota. A.D. 1877. Comprising the Codes and General Statutes Passed at the Twelfth Session of the Legislative Assembly, and All Other General Laws Remaining in Force To Which Is Prefixed the Organic Law and the Constitution of the United States, Second edition (Yankton: Bowen and Kingsbury, 1880).

36 Olof Hoijer, Le pacte de la Société des nations: commentaire théorique et pratique (Paris: Editions Spes, 1926), 207.

37 The League of Nations Starts – An Outline by Its Organisers (London: MacMillan, 1920), 109.

38 ‘American Draft’ – ‘Class A Mandate’, undated (1919 fall?) R1, 1/1224/161, League of Nations Archive (LNA), perhaps by G.L. Beer; see also letter of Eric Forbes Adam to Drummond, 7 November 1919, R13, 1/1834/161, LNA; an undated ‘Projet du Colonel House – Mandat de la catégorie “A”’ also contains the organic law in 1SL/250/45, and drafts during 1920 and 1921, 1SL/1V/1563, all in CADN.

39 ‘Draft of the Mandate for Mesopotamia’, appendix of letter by Balfour to Drummond, 6 December 1920, R2, 1/10533/161, LNA; Final Drafts of the Mandates for Mesopotamia and Palestine (London: His Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1921), CAB 30/30, The National Archives (TNA).

40 ‘Recommendations to the Council’, Annex V, 3QO/64, CADC.

41 Treaty of Alliance (London: His Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1925); Ann Wilks, ‘The 1922 Anglo-Iraq Treaty: A Moment of Crisis and the Role of Britain’s Man on the Ground’, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 43, no. 3 (2016): 342–59.

42 Frederick Cooper, Citizenship between Nation and Empire: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945–1960 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), 8–11, 280.

43 Mizrahi, ‘La France et sa politique’, 40–3.

44 See for instance Reclus to HC, 18 March 1922, 1SL/250/32, CADN.

45 Jacques Esteve, ‘Enquête sommaire sur les sources du droit en Syrie’, 10 (62-page essay, 1937), 1SL/250/54, CADN.

46 HC to MAE, undated (1921?), 1SL/250/32, CADN.

47 Nobuyoshi Fujinami, ‘Decentralizing Centralists, or the Political Language on Provincial Administration in the Second Ottoman Constitutional Period’, Middle Eastern Studies 49, no. 6 (2013): 880–900; François Georgeon and Noémi Lévy-Aksu, eds., The Young Turk Revolution and the Ottoman Empire: The Aftermath of 1908 (New York: I.B. Tauris, 2017); Andrew Arsan, ‘“This Age is the Age of Associations”: Committees, Petitions, and the Roots of Interwar Middle Eastern Internationalism’, Journal of Global History 7, no. 2 (2012): 166–88.

48 Eugene Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 230–5.

49 I could not locate the Arabic original, English translation in appendix of Storrs to Clayton, 5 December 1915, FO/882/15/1, TNA.

50 Malcolm B. Russell, The First Modern Arab State: Syria under Faysal, 1918–1920 (Minneapolis: Bibliotheca Islamica, [1985]), 89–90; Gelvin, Divided Loyalties, 166–167.

51 Undated document, Henry Churchill King Papers, RG 2/6, box 128, folder 5, online, Oberlin College. A French translation (Chartre Constitutionelle des Etats Unis de Syrie) is in 50CPCOM/43, CADC.

52 Elizabeth Thompson argues that a constitutional draft in 1920 summer, known only from secondary sources, was the expression of ‘liberal Islam’: Elisabeth Thompson, How the West Stole Democracy from the Arabs: The Syrian Congress of 1920 and the Destruction of its Liberal-Islamic Alliance (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2020), Preface and Appendix C.

53 For instance, Les règlements constitutionnels du Parti de l’Union Syrienne, Damascus, undated (1919), 50CPCOM/43, CADC.

54 Ministre des Affaires Étrangères (MAE) to Weygand, 19 December 1923, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

55 ‘Statut Organique’, undated, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

56 Arrêté 2980 (5 December 1924), in Recueil des actes administratifs du Haut-commissariat de la République française en Syrie et au Liban vol. 5 (Beirut: Imp. Jeanne D’Arc, 1924), 398–402.

57 George Steinmetz, ‘The Colonial State as a Social Field: Ethnographic Capital and Native Policy in the German Overseas Empire before 1914’, American Sociological Review 73 (2008): 589–612; Edmund Burke III, The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014), 109.

58 Édouard Bonnefous, Histoire politique de la Troisième République – Cartel des Gauches et Union Nationale (1924–1929) (Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1973), 4: 2–4; Tony Judt, ‘The French Socialist and the Cartel des Gauches of 1924’, Journal of Contemporary History 11, no. 2 (1976): 199–215.

59 Note, 21 November 1925, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

60 Paul-Boncour to MAE, 2 November 1925, 50CPCOM/223, CADC.

61 The summary of the process is in Note, 21 November 1925, 50CPCOM/224, CADC.

62 MAE to HC, 23 August 1925, 143PAAP/175; ‘Analyse des consultations des notables’, 10 November 1925, 50CPCOM/223, all in CADC.

63 Michael Provence, The Great Syrian Revolt and the Rise of Arab Nationalism (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005).

64 Note, 6 November 1925, 50CPCOM/223, CADC.

65 MAE to De Jouvenel, 29 November 1925, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

66 Martin C. Thomas, ‘French Intelligence-Gathering in the Syrian Mandate, 1920–40’, Middle Eastern Studies 38, no. 1 (2002): 1–32; Jean-David Mizrahi, Genèse de l’État Mandataire: Service des Renseignements et bandes armées en Syrie et au Liban dans les années 1920 (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2003); Provence, The Great Syrian Revolt; Neep, Occupying Syria.

67 ‘Report to the Council of the League of Nations on the work of the Eighth (Extraordinary) Session of the Commission, 8 March 1926’, C. 144. M. 58 1926, LNA; Pedersen, The Guardians, 151–160.

68 See the Communist (later Nazi) Jacques Doriotʼs speech, La Syrie aux Syriens ! : discours prononcé par Doriot, à la Chambre des députés, le 20 décembre 1925 (Paris: Imp. Française, 1926); versus Chambre de Commerce de Lyon, ‘Protestation’, 26 November 1926 ; Comité Dupleix, November 1926, all in 50CPCOM/166, CADC.

69 Debbas quoted in HC to MAE, 26 July 1928, 143PAAP/178, CADC; Christine Manigand, ‘Henry De Jouvenel, Haut-commissaire de la République Française en Syrie et au Liban (1925–1926)’, Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains 192 (1998), 101–12 ; Makdisi, Age of Coexistence, 133–7 ; about the French official in the Lebanese constituent discussion, see Sheikh Yusuf Khazin’s comments, 8 February 1929, 1SL/1/V/465, CADN.

70 Olivier Bouquet, ‘The Sultan’s Sons-in-Law: Analysing Ottoman Imperial Damads’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 58 (2015): 327–61, at 354.

71 Yūsuf al-Ḥakīm, Sūriyya wa-l-Intidāb (Syria and the Mandate) (Beirut: Dār al-Nihār li-l-Nashr, 1991), 155; Khoury, The French Mandate in Syria, 197.

72 ‘Renseignements 260/DV’, 2 February 1928, ‘306/DV’, 4 February 1928, ‘N 543’, 27 February 1928, 143PAAP/224, CADC.

73 Telegram with signatures, 3 March 1927; Reffye to MAE, 5 March 1927, 50CPCOM/201, CADC.

74 MAE to De Jouvenel, 12 May 1926, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

75 ‘Projet de Statut Organique’, August 1926, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

76 De Jouvenel to MAE, 3 September 1927, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

77 De Jouvenel to Briand, 3 August 1926, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

78 Susan Pedersen, ‘Getting Out of Iraq—in 1932: The League of Nations and the Road to Normative Statehood’, The American Historical Review 115, no. 4 (2010): 975–1000.

79 ‘Statut Organique’, 27 August 1926, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

80 De Caix to Berthelot, 10 May 1928, Berthelot’s answer 19 May 1928, both in 50CPCOM/225, CADC.

81 PMC’s observations, attachement of De Caix to Ponsot, 30 July 1928, 143PAAP/174, CADC.

82 Ponsot to MAE, 10 May 1928, 143PAAP/178, CADC.

83 Unsigned letter in dossier ‘13 December 1928, Statut Organique, De Caix’, 143PAAP/175, CADC.

84 Al-ʿArab, 8 October 1932, 13.

85 Hamayak Husrevyan, Hususiye-i Huquq-i Düvel (Private International Law) (Istanbul: Adab Matbaa ve Kutuphanesi, 1329); Ali Çankaya, Yeni Mülkiye Tarihi ve Mülkiyeliler (The History of the New Mülkiye and Its Students) (Ankara: Mars Matbaası, 1968), 1: 298; Corinne Lee Blake, ‘Training Arab-Ottoman bureaucrats: Syrian graduates of the Mülkiye Mektebi, 1890–1920’ (PhD diss., Princeton University, 1991), 153; Mustafa Serdar Palabıyık, ‘International Law for Survival: Teaching International Law in the Late Ottoman Empire (1859–1922)’, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 78, no. 2 (2015): 271–92; Aimee Genell, ‘The Well-Defended Domains: Eurocentric International Law and the Making of the Ottoman Office of Legal Counsel’, Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 3, no. 2 (2016): 255–75.

86 Blake, ‘Training Arab-Ottoman Bureaucrats’, 180; al-Yāfī, Al-Faqīd al-ʿAẓīm, 8–9; Çankaya, Yeni Mülkiye Tarihi, 3:1568.

87 James L. Gelvin, Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 93.

88 Receipt, ʿAbd al-Muḥsin to al-Qaṣṣāb, 24 January 1918, MKQ, MW-DMAA.

89 Gelvin, Divided Loyalties, 97–9, 107–14, 116, 120–1, 126, 132, 141–2, 166, 211–2, 247, 280; see also ‘Dispatch from Civil Commissioner, Mesopotamia, to Secretary of State for India’, December 1919, British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/PS/18/B337, in Qatar Digital Library., last viewed 13 May 2020.

90 Lisān al-Ḥāl, 8 January 1920, 2.

91 Al-Yāfī, Al-Faqīd al-ʿAẓīm, 8–9; ʿAbd al-Karīm Rāfiq, Tārīkh al-Jāmiʿa al-Sūriyya (The History of the Syrian University) (Damascus: Maktabat Nūbil, 2004), 47–8; Kūlīt al-Khūrī, ed., Awrāq Fāris al-Khūrī (The Archive of Fāris al-Khūrī), 2 vols. (Damascus: Ṭalās, 1989), 2: 129, 131, 132; Arrêté 320, 15 November 1921, 1SL/250/6, CADN.

92 Al-Ahrām, 12 March 1920, 1.

93 ‘Ahlān bi-l-Shaykh al-Qaṣṣāb (Welcome to Sheikh al-Qassab)’, Filasṭīn, 10 February 1928, 2.

94 Fawzī al-Ghazzī, Al-Huqūq al-Duwaliyya al-ʿĀmma (Public International Law) (Damascus: Maṭbaʿat Hukūmat Dimashq, 1922), 1: unpaginated introduction. The book ends with a note that it was printed in April 1921 but the text refers to events in as late as March 1922; second volume yet unfound. See a similar Egyptian case in Will Hanley, ‘International Lawyers without Public International Law: The Case of Late Ottoman Egypt’, Journal of the History of International Law 18, no. 1 (2016): 98–119, at 112.

95 Among his sources were possibly Paul Fauchille, Traité de droit international public, 2 vols (Paris: Rousseau et Cie, 1921); Mehmed Cemil, Sulhte ve Harpta Huquq-i Düvel (International Laws of Peace and War) ([Istanbul]: Erkan-i Harbiye Mektebi Matbaası, 1339).

96 Al-Ghazzī, Al-Huqūq al-Duwaliyya, 1: 112.

97 Al-Ghazzī, Al-Huqūq al-Duwaliyya, 1: 131–4.

98 Al-Ghazzī, Al-Huqūq al-Duwaliyya, 1: 200.

99 ‘Renseignements 115/DV’, 22 January 1928; list, 11 January 1928, both in 143PAAP/224, CADC; decisions in 1SL/1V/1590, CADN.

100 Muḥammad ʿIzzat Darwaza, Mudhakkirāt (Memoirs) (Beirut: Dār al-Gharb al-Islāmī, 1993), 1: 484, 499–500, 503–4, 506–10; Weldon Matthews, Confronting an Empire, Constructing a Nation (London: I.B. Tauris, 2006), 76–7; Kāmil al-Qaṣṣāb and ʿIzz al-Dīn al-Qassām, Al-Naqd wa-l-Bayān Fī Dafʿ Awhām Khazīrān (Haifa: ʻAbd al-Wāḥid al-Ḥasan, 1925).

101 Fuʾād Ḥamza, Mudhakkirāt wa-Wathāʾiq (Memoirs and Documents), 2 vols ([Riyadh]: Dārat al-Malik ʿAbd al-ʿAziz, 2016), 1: 99; French consulate (Ibrahim) Jedda to HC, 12 September 1927, 45CPCOM/310, CADC.

102 ‘Comptes-Rendus des Séances de l’Assemblée Syrienne, séance 9 June 1928’, 143PAAP/177, CADC.

103 French translation of al-Ghazzī’s speech, 143PAAP/198, CADC.

104 Al-Ahrām, 23 June 1923, 2.

105 ‘Renseignements’, 9 July 1928, 143PAAP/180, CADC.

106 List of notables, ‘La Syrie, S.R. Damas ville’, 20 May 1928, 143PAAP/180, CADC.

107 Bulletin des Renseignements, 18 February 1929, 143PAAP/177, CADC.

108 Al-Yāfī, Al-Faqīd al-ʿAẓīm, 10, 13, 161–5.

109 1SL/1/V/1563, CADN.

110 ‘Renseignements’, 27 February 1928, 143PAAP/224, CADC.

111 Philip S. Khoury, ‘Factionalism among Syrian Nationalists during the French Mandate’, International Journal of Middle East Studies 13, no. 4 (1981): 441–69.

112 Fawwaz Traboulsi, ‘The Saudi Expansion: the Lebanese Connection, 1924–1952’, in Kingdom Without Borders – Saudi Political, Religious, and Media Frontiers, ed. Madawi Al-Rasheed (London: Hurst and Company, 2008), 65–78.

113 Abū Ṭāriq and Abū Samīr [Fuʾād Ḥamza] to al-Qaṣṣāb, 16 Jumādā al-Awwal 1348 (20 October 1929), MKQ, MW-DMAA.

114 There was also an Egyptian grouping. ‘Hadj Hamdi’ to Briand, 6 September 1928, 45CPCOM/26, CADC.

115 Lauzière, The Making of Salafism, 72, n. 45.

116 Riḍā to al-Qaṣṣāb, 8 Dhū al-Qaʿda 1347 (18 April 1929), MKQ, MW-DMAA.

117 Ḥamza, Mudhakkirāt, 102.

118 Ḥamza to al-Qaṣṣāb, 9 Shawwal 1346 (31 March 1928), MKQ, MW-DMAA; the published version of Ḥamza’s diary is silent about this issue.

119 Gaillard to ?, 4 June 1928, 50PCOM/204, CADC.

120 Al-Karmil, 20 May 1928, 7.

121 Al-Karmil, 4 June 1928, 4–5.

122 ʿAlī Kusūr to al-Qaṣṣāb, 24 Safar 1347 (20 July 1928), MKQ, MW-DMAA.

123 Al-Jāmiʿa al-ʿArabiyya, 4 June 1928, 2; ‘Sulla Candidature di Faisal Al Sa‘ud al trono siriana’ 8, no. 8 Oriente Moderno (1928), 347; Khoury, Syria, 337–40; Filasṭīn, 5 June 1928, 2.

124 Filasṭīn, articles against al-Qaṣṣāb: 10 and 14 February 1928, both pages 2; candidates: 19 June 1928, 2.

125 Al-Manār 29, no. 3 (18 June 1928), 229–37.

126 ‘Police Damas’, 15 June 1928, 143PAAP/180, CADC.

127 Qarqut quotes al-Mirṣad journal (9 August 1928) in his Taṭawwur al-Ḥaraka, 234, n. 33. Here the adjective ‘civic’ (al-madanī) might mean ‘secular’.

128 Extract from report, Maigret to Ponsot, undated, attachment to Ponsot to MAE, 20 June 1928, 50CPCOM/204, CADC.

129 Ponsot to MAE, 5 July 1928, 50CPCOM/204, CADC.

130 Ponsot to MAE, 10 May 1928, 50PCOM/204, CADC; Khoury, Syria, 338.

131 Note, 5 November 1928, 50CPCOM/226, CADC.

132 ‘Au sujet de Baalback’, 3 June 1928, 143PAAP/224, CADC.

133 ‘Renseignements’, 12 July 1928, 143PAAP/179, CADC.

134 ‘Loi constitutionnelle syrienne’, 14 January 1928, new version 6 May 1928, both in 143PAAP/175, CADC.

135 Ibrāhīm Hanānū and Saqqāl in a private conversation, ‘Informations’, 3 and 4 July 1928, 143PAAP/177, CADC.

136 ‘Note sur le projet de constitution syrienne’, 143PAAP/178, CADC.

137 ‘Dispositions du texte délégation qui ne figurent pas dans le texte syrien’, 31 July 1928, 143PAAP/178, CADC.

138 ‘Information N 396’, 12 July 1928, 1SL/1V/953, CADN.

139 Schmitt, Constitutional Theory, 121–3.

140 Al-Yāfī, Al-Faqīd al-ʿAẓīm, 82–8.

141 ‘Renseignements’, 29 June 1928, 143PAAP/177, CADC.

142 ‘Comptes-Rendus des Séances de l’Assemblée Syrienne, séance 9 August 1928’, 143PAAP/177, CADC.

143 Bulletin de Renseignements, 2 February 1929; ‘Sûreté générale’, 7 February 1929, both in 143PAAP/181, CADC.

144 Tetreau to Ponsot, 5 August 1929, 50CPCOM/206, CADC.

145 ‘M. Ruppel et Sheikh Taj’, 1 June 1933, 50CPCOM/485, CADC; Amit Bein, Kemalist Turkey and the Middle East: International Relations in the Interwar Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 78–82.

146 Ḥamza to al-Qaṣṣāb, 15 Jumādā al-Awwal 1347 (30 October 1928), MKQ, MW-DMAA.

147 ‘Candidature hachemite du trône de Syrie’, 10 April 1934, 50CPCOM/459, CADC; undated memorandum (1931?), CO 732/34/8, TNA; Consul to MAE, 17 February 1931, 50CPCOM/481, CADC; al-Ahrār, 5 August 1931.