Cooperation and Conflict in Dispute Resolution in the Late Ottoman Empire

Allen, Benjamin, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Bishara, Fahad, History, University of Virginia

The decline of Ottoman sovereign authority in the Persian Gulf is often typified with the example of Kuwait, where Mubarak b. Sabah, Shaykh of Kuwait, had been able to deftly use association with Great Britain to preserve his independence from the Ottomans. This period of the Ottoman authority in Kuwait is not, however, entirely defined by retreat. Kuwait generally and the Sabah in particular continued to derive a great share of their wealth from the date trade in southern Iraq and investments in agricultural lands there. After Mubarak had taken power, the sons of his slain brother disputed his ownership of the Sabah lands in Iraq as part of their general campaign against his reign. This study examines how the Ottomans took advantage of this dispute to assert their juridical authority over the Sabah in novel ways. At the same time it analyzes the role that the British had played in resolving the dispute and how it was defined more by cooperation with the Ottoman officials rather than zealous advocacy for Mubarak.

MA (Master of Arts)
Iraq, Kuwait, Ottoman Empire, Date Palm Agriculture, Arbitration, Legal History, Alternative Dispute Resolution
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