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Home > Events (Workshops, Conferences...) > Rencontres-Débats de l’IREMAM (2008-2017) > En 2013-2014

Rencontre-Débat de l’IREMAM


What is a Local ? Egyptians before Egyptian Nationality
Will Hanley, Historien (Florida State University)


Mardi 18 juin 2013, 14h30
MMSH Aix, Salle Paul-Albert Février



Before 1926, Egypt had no nationality. While the law treated certain Egyptians as Ottoman nationals, most were simply “local subjects” (ra‘aya mahalliya). Local status—the proto-nationality of the majority of Egypt’s residents—was the product of a legal dialectic. The Capitulations generated the broad category of foreigner through exemptions from local taxation, conscription, prosecution, and search. Foreigners were the non-locals. The local, in turn, became an empty signifier holding the place of the non-foreign. Over the decades of the British occupation, however, state and society began to lend positive meaning to this empty, default label. This paper argues by focusing on the development of Egyptian political nationalism, historians have neglected the distinct, complex, and equally significant question of Egyptian legal nationality.


Will Hanley est professeur adjoint au département d’histoire de Florida State University. Sa recherche porte sur l’essor de la nationalité comme catégorie sociale et juridique à Alexandrie entre 1880 et 1914. Titulaire d’un doctorat d’histoire de l’Université de Princeton en 2007, il est boursier en 2012-2013 du programme Rechtskulturen de la faculté de droit de Humboldt-Universität (Berlin).

“When did Egyptians stop being Ottomans? An Imperial Citizenship Case Study,” in Willem Maas, ed. Multilevel Citizenship (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 89-109.

“Cosmopolitan Cursing in Late Nineteenth Century Alexandria,” in Derryl MacLean and Sikeena Karmali Ahmed, eds., Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts: Perspectives from the Past, “Exploring Muslim Contexts” series (Edinburgh University Press, 2012), 92-104.

“Grieving cosmopolitanism in Middle East studies,” History Compass 6/5 (2008): 1346-67.


En savoir plus sur Will Hanley