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Martin Bunton







Field: World

Specialty: Modern Middle Eastern History; World History; Colonial Land Policies

Office hours Spring 2014: On leave.


The bulk of my teaching has been in the field of modern Middle Eastern history, and I am especially interested in studying the history of the region in its global context. My first book focused on the making and remaking of colonial land policies in Palestine during the interwar period. The book is organised around two main themes: the legacy of Ottoman administrative practices and the borrowing of policies developed elsewhere in the British empire. These same themes also frame my organisation of the nine-volume collection of primary sources on land legislation in Palestine. My current research explores the development of land policies in Egypt during the period of British rule, 1882-1920, with a focus on land taxation, cadastral surveys, state lands, and agricultural credit.

Selected publications


Colonialism and the Modern World:  Selected Studies (o‑edited with G. Blue and R. Croizier). M.E. Sharpe, 2002. 

Colonial Land Policies in Palestine, 1917-1936. Oxford University Press, 2007.

 A History of the Modern Middle East, 4th edition (co-authored with the late William L. Cleveland). Westview Press, 2008.

 Land Legislation in Mandate Palestine. 8 Volumes with Map Box edited set of primary sources (Cambridge Archive Editions, Cambridge University Press, 2009).

 Selected Publications:

“Demarcating the British Colonial State: Land Settlement in the Jiftlik Villages of Sajad and Qazaza” in Roger Owen, ed., New Perspectives on Property and Land in the Middle East (Harvard CMES Monograph Series, Harvard University Press, 2001).

“Mandate Daze: Stories of British Rule in Palestine, 1917‑1948”. Review essay in International Journal of Middle East Studies (August 2003).

“The Arab Middle East” in The Islamic World, edited by Andrew Rippin (Routledge, London, 2008).

“From Developmental Nationalism to the End of Nation-State in Iraq?” in Third World Quarterly, 29/3, 2008. 

"L'Enquête de Cadastre Britannique des Terres Agricoles  Égyptiennes (1897-1907)” in Maghreb-Machrek, N° 205 (Automne 2010).



HIST 105 Introduction to 20th Century World History
HIST 265 Introduction to the Modern Middle East
HIST 442 The Palestinian Israeli Conflict
HIST 443 Religion and State in the Modern Middle East
HIST 444 Imperialism and Decolonization in the Middle East and North Africa

Special topics include:

Land and colonialism: a comparative study of the history of property rights

Grad students

Matthew Redmond, "The Nigerian adoption of Gandhi's discourse of colonial resistance"

Stephen Russo, "Land legislation, gender and families in Palestine during the 1920s"

Lesley Scowcroft, "The influence of Sir Reginald Coupland on the Peel Commission"

Chris Dawson, "Neo-liberalism and the Rule of Law: The Cairo housing market in the 1970s"

Amber Ayers, "Official debates on agricultural co-operatives in Palestine"

Adam Rasmi, "British efforts to survey the lands of Egypt, 1878-1907"

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