Property, Social Structure, and Law in the Modern Middle East

Edited by Ann E. Mayer

Series: SUNY series in Near Eastern Studies
Paperback : 9780873959872, 274 pages, September 1985
Hardcover : 9780873959889, 274 pages, September 1985

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For too long the study of law and society in the modern Middle East has been left to specialists in narrow subcategories of law or the social sciences. Property, Social Structure, and Law in the Modern Middle East lays the groundwork for a new field of scholarship in which analysis of the social dimensions of law and the legal dimensions of social structure are integrated. It offers the stimulus of a variety of new models of scholarship by a distinguished international group of contributors whose work shares a common focus on regimes of property in the societies of the modern Middle East.

The case studies examine the regulations of many kinds of property in relation to the social structures of selected Middle Eastern communities form the eighteenth century to the present. Most of the societies studied are subjected to pressures for rapid modernization and adjustment to major economic transformations.

The book features comparisons of property rights and relations under regimes of Islamic and customary law as well as modern statutory law. Highlighted are new patterns of intervention by modern Middle Eastern states to alter traditional regimes of property and to transform the accompanying social structures. Their implications for development are also considered.

The book's notes and bibliographies constitute a valuable resource for anyone interested in further research.

Ann Elizabeth Mayer teaches Legal Studies at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.