This dissertation explores the emergence of “the national” as a spatial category in the context of three major transformations in the mid- to late twentieth century United Arab Emirates (UAE) – first, increasing integration of the lower Gulf region into circuits of capitalism as a result of oil production; second, the intensification of relationships with the Arab Middle East and restructuring of Gulf-Indian Ocean connections in an era of decolonization; and third, the decline of a highly decentralized mid-20 th century political economy in which exchange was governed by communal and moral relations and its replacement by a more capitalist mode of economic life in the course of the 1960s and 1970s. A focus on Ras al-Khaimah, normally considered a peripheral location, highlights the contestations, spatial inequalities, and oppositional politics that characterized the development process in the Trucial States and early UAE.
These transformations are examined through the influence of late British imperial networks of expertise in agricultural development projects, the transnational politics of development that led to the construction of the region’s first long-distance paved road, and the roles of wells, quarries, border demarcation, and erosion in Ras al-Khaimah Ruler Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qasimi’s long-term project of building a unified, bounded sovereign emirate. Finally, the tensions and contradictions of uneven development led to a movement in 1979 which demanded greater integration, more equal distribution of wealth, and a unitary state; in short, a national spatial imaginary that would solve the problems caused by spatial differentiation.
|Commitee:||Jones, Toby C., Lockman, Zachary, Ludden, David, Pursley, Sara|
|School:||New York University|
|Department:||Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and History|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Middle Eastern history, Middle Eastern Studies|
|Keywords:||Development, Infrastructure, Nationalism, Spatial history, State formation, United arab emirates|
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