Colonial Effects

The Making of National Identity in Jordan

Joseph A. Massad

Columbia University Press

Colonial Effects

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Pub Date: September 2001

ISBN: 9780231123235

276 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£26.95

Pub Date: September 2001

ISBN: 9780231123228

276 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $95.00£79.95

Pub Date: September 2001

ISBN: 9780231505703

276 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $31.99£26.95

Colonial Effects

The Making of National Identity in Jordan

Joseph A. Massad

Columbia University Press

Colonial Effects analyzes the creation and definition of modern Jordanian identity. Massad studies two key institutions-- the law and the military--and uses them to create an original and precise analysis of the development of Jordanian national identity in the postcolonial period.

Joseph A. Massad engages recent scholarly debates on nationalism and richly fulfills the analytical promise of Michel Foucault's insight that modern institutions and their power to have productive, not merely repressive or coercive, capacities—though Massad also stresses their continued repressive function.

His argument is advanced by a consideration of evidence, including images produced by state tourist agencies aimed at attracting Western visitors, the changing and precarious position of women in the newly constructed national space, and such practices as soccer games, music, songs, food, clothing, and shifting accents and dialects.
A work of genuine brilliance, as much for its searing insights into Jordanian history and culture as for its extraordinary mastery of the vast material it deploys. It is rare to encounter a pathbreaking book: this is certainly one. Edward Said
The thesis of this important and profound book transcends the Jordanian case and reaches into the heart of the debate about the formation of national identities, the idea of the nation, and the effect of the colonial context in shaping identities and nationalities. The [analytic and historical] benefits that this book contributes surpass those provided by many other books on the topic, and it will surely occupy a central place in the literature about the modern history of Jordan. Al-Jazeera (translated from the Arabic)
Massad offers not the usual political history but a study of legal changes and the use of the military for nation-building. Foreign Affairs
By focusing on the actions and motivations of the British Colonial administrators—in codifying laws and defining the national culture—Massad provides an excellent analysis of state construction in the colonial realm. For this reason, his work is poised for use by scholars and teachers in a number of fields far beyond Jordanian and Middle Eastern studies... Massad beautifully expands the breadth of Jordanian studies by examining issues thus far neglected in all studies of the country... In a classroom setting... the thematic organizational structure means that students do not have to know very much about Jordanian history to be able to understand the main points. The chapters on the role of gender, law, and the military in nationalist construction can be read easily as case studies of national identity throughout the region and the world. A search of any Web engine will show how very popular this book has become for a range of disciplines and class types... As many scholars and teachers have discovered already, the book provides questions and answers about nationalism that few writers have posed before. Betty S. Anderson, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies
Massad offers a theoretically informed and highly interesting analysis of the construction of national identity in Jordan... [Colonial Effects] is full of fascinating information and an analysis of the colonial and postcolonial state's production of national identity that should invigorate the field. Mary C. Wilson, Journal of Palestine Studies
Massad adopts an innovative approach by examining the effects of juridical and military institutions on the shaping of Jordan's national culture... [He] devotes very tangible attention to Bedouins, women, and Palestinians and their incorporation into the invented national culture of Jordan... [in a] sophisticated analysis. Choice
Massad's book will occupy an important place in the literature on the modern history of Jordan, not only due to its unique and pioneering topic, but also due to its remarkably encyclopedic range. It is a book that engages the fields of politics, history, sociology, as well as popular culture... This is a great and distinguished book. Al-Hayat (translated from the Arabic)
This is an important book.... It is against the background of Massad's study that one will have to judge... current and forthcoming works. Laurie Brand, Middle East Journal
Historians interested in the emergence of national identities in other colonial and postcolonial countries and societies would do well to examine Massad's book. Reading it will require considerable concentration and patience, but the rewards should be substantial. Philip S. Khoury, American Historical Review
This is a potent, suggestive, and original work, based on extensive research including archival material and newspapers. It is a major contribution to the literature on Jordanian nationalism, anticolonial nationalism, and the wider field of postcolonial studies. It will be widely read and stir important debates. Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies
Massad's book is informative, original, and interesting.... Ultimately, this book is a pleasure. It is an innovative approach to the creation of Jordanian national identity and a much-needed and welcome addition to the scholarship on Jordanian national identity. Arab Studies Journal
[I]n his provocative book... Massad eruditely examines and reconstructs the creation and evolution of the Jordanian nation... This insightful book will serve to provide readers with an immeasurable understanding and a methodology for exploring the complexities of colonialism and postcolonial national movements. Al-Jadid
[P]ainstakingly researched... Massad's Colonial Effects is an enlightening exploration of national identity construction that... can illuminate the process of identity creation not only in Jordan, but in many other postcolonial nations as well. Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies
Massad chart[s] new ground methodologically [and] his substantive arguments are equally innovative... he uses new conceptual tools for interpreting the construction of colonial and postcolonial national identity... Always attuned to the political implications of culture, Massad shows how [cultural] inventions have been politically expedient, aimed at bolstering the unity of the nation in the face of real social cleavages... Colonial Effects is an ambitious book. It is sometimes hard to categorize because of the author's apparent comfort in different disciplines (political theory, diplomatic history, and cultural studies toname a few) and his use of different modes of argumentation (from the purely descriptive to the highly abstract)... [The book] illuminate[s] the complex negotiations between colonizer and colonized in an understudied period of mandate rule in the Middle East. In addition, [it] constitute[s] part of a small but growing group of works demonstrating the usefulness ofMiddle Eastern history and politics for theorizing modern processes like the gendered construction of citizenship and national identity. It is to be hoped that scholars of Europe in particular (who have paid little attention to the Middle East) will appreciate [its] insights. Radical History Review
Massad has done a thorough job of mastering the source material. Middle East Quarterly
Massad, puts forward a sophisticated constitutive analysis of Jordan's 'national' identity, singling out the different turns and twists in the formation of the 'Jordanian' character and make-up. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Impressive... meticulously documented throughout. International Journal of Middle East Studies
Introduction
Law, Military, and Discipline
Tradition and Modernity
Historical Moments
Part I: Codifying the Nation: Law and the Articulation of National Identity in Jordan
The Prehistory of Juridical Postcoloniality
National Time
National Space
National Territory and Paternity
Nationalizing Non-Nationals
Losing Nationality: The Law Giveth and the Law Taketh Away
Women and Children
Part II: Different Spaces as Different Times: Law and Geography in Jordanian Nationalism
Different Species of Citizens: Women and Bedouins
Bedouins and National Citizenship
Nationalist Tribalism or Tribalist Nationalism: The Debate
Jordanian Culture in an International Frame
Women Between the Public and Private Spheres
Women in Public
Women and Politics
Part III: Cultural Syncretism or Colonial Mimic Men: Jordan's Bedouins and the Military Basis of National Identity
The Bedouin Choice
Cultural Imperialism and Discipline
Cultural Cross-Dressing as Epistemology
Imperialism as Educator
Masculinity, Culture, and Women
Transforming the Bedouins
Persuasion, Education, and Surveillance
Part IV: Nationalizing the Military: Colonial Legacy as National Heritage
Anticolonial Nationalism and the Army
King Husayn and the Nationalist Officers
Clash of the Titans: Glubb Pasha and the Uneasy King
"Arabizing" the Jordanian Army
The Palace Coup and the End of an Era
Palace Repression and the Forgiving King
Palestinians and the Military
Threatening the Nation's Masculinity and Religious "Tradition"
The Military and the New Jordan
Colonial or National Legacy
Part V: The Nation as an Elastic Entity: The Expansion and Contraction of Jordan
Expanding the Nation: The Road to Annexation
The Jericho Conference
The New Jordan
Palestinians and the West Bank
Competing Representatives: The PLO and Jordan
Toward Civil War
A New Nationalist Era
Clothes, Accents, and Football: Asserting Post—Civil War Jordanianness
Contracting the Nation: The Road to "The Severing of Ties"
Who Is Jordanian?
Concluding Remarks

About the Author

Joseph A. Massad is assistant professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. He won the Malcolm Kerr Dissertation Award for this work from the Middle East Studies Association.