Policing Internationalism and Setting the Nation’s Boundary: Deportation, Nationality and Foreigners’ Residence in Egypt, 1919-1967
The project first examines the heavy recourse to deportation by the British authorities in interwar Egypt to counter “the dangers of Bolshevism”. The deportations targeted Russian Jewish refugees, European emigrés, stateless residents, and former Ottoman subjects designated by British colonial officials as “local subjects of foreign extraction”. The removal of suspected leftist internationalists was based, both, on ideology and ethnicity, and regardless of legal status. It set the ground for the post-colonial securitization of Egyptian nationality and of the management of foreigners’ residence, and for the security-oriented construction of ‘the foreign’. The project then investigates the latter processes by analyzing the legislation and re-legislation of Egyptian nationality, within the context of state discourses and enactments of sovereignty, and by surveying the post-war waves of political deportation and up to 1967, and the individual resistance to such removals at the Higher Administrative Court. The project therefore traces the continuum between colonialism and post-colonial nationalism.
The Ideological Deportation of Foreigners and Local Subjects of Foreign Extractions in Interwar Egypt: How British Colonial Policy Shaped Egyptian Nationalism
The project examines how the British authorities in Egypt, in the period 1919-1927, sought to institute the legality and necessity of the ideological deportation of “foreigners” and of “local subjects of foreign extractions”, out of fear of what British intelligence perceived as the spread of Bolshevism among the natives. This practice in the colony went against British policy in the Metropole, which upheld civic nationhood and the right for asylum. The research traces how nationalist discourse re-appropriated this colonial policy, following the unilateral declaration of independence of February 28, 1922, the drafting of a new constitution, and the rise to power of the first elected national government, amidst a growing discourse focusing on sovereignty and national interests. The result was a reinforcement of ethno-nationalist discourse and politics, whereby foreigners came to be regarded as a social and political threat, legitimating a series of deportations and rigid border control. The project surveys this trend, leading up to the issuing of the first Egyptian nationality law in 1929, and its 1931 addendum which allowed for the denaturalisation of certain Egyptians with foreign ties.