The Land beyond the Border

State Formation and Territorial Expansion in Syria, Morocco, and Israel

By Johannes Becke

Subjects: Comparative Politics, Israel Studies, Middle East Politics
Series: SUNY series in Comparative Politics
Hardcover : 9781438482231, 302 pages, May 2021
Paperback : 9781438482224, 302 pages, January 2022

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


1. A Theory of Postcolonial State Expansions

2. The Late Colonial State in the Middle East

3. After Empire: Colonial Legacies and Postcolonial State Formation

4. Varieties of State Expansion

5. Resistance and Institutional Change

6. State Expansions and State Contractions after the End of the Cold War

7. Varieties of Expansionism in Global Comparison


Works Cited

Uses an innovative theoretical framework to comparatively explore the dynamics of state expansion and contraction in Syria (1976-2005), Morocco (since 1975), and Israel (since 1967).


Based on three case studies from the Middle East, The Land beyond the Border advances an innovative theoretical framework for the study of state expansions and state contractions. Johannes Becke argues that state expansion can be theorized according to four basic ideal types—a form of patronage (patronization), the imposition of a satellite regime (satellization), the establishment of territorial exclaves (exclavization), or a full-fledged takeover (incorporation). Becke discusses how both irredentist ideologies and political realities have shaped the dynamics of state expansion and state contraction in the recent history of each state. By studying Israel comparatively with other Middle Eastern regimes, this book forms part of an emerging research agenda seeking to bring the research fields of Israel Studies and Middle East Studies closer together. Instead of treating Israel's rule over the occupied territories as an isolated case, Becke offers students the chance to understand Israel's settlement project within the broader framework of postcolonial state formation.

Johannes Becke is Professor of Israel and Middle East Studies at the Heidelberg Center for Jewish Studies in Germany.


"…The Land beyond the Border brings a refreshing and important perspective on the Israeli occupation by way of comparison to other cases of expansionism in the Middle East … as is typical of Becke's writing, the book is theoretical and rich in fascinating details." — Israel Studies Review

"…the author has amassed provocative sets of facts well worth a critical reading by specialists." — CHOICE