Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal: Smuggling and the Remaking of the Eastern Mediterranean

Smuggling and the Remaking of the Eastern Mediterranean, 1912-1940

Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal

Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal

My current research project demonstrates how the fight against smugglers and its telling became both a motif and a method for the remaking of the eastern Mediterranean as an arc of coherent nation-states within an ordered international system. Over the first half of the twentieth century, smuggling persisted in shaping significant economic and human networks, even while it was transformed by new products, prohibitions, and attempts at enforcement. Perceived as a major facet of the social and economic character of the region, smuggling was the subject of investigation and debate as recorded in the archives of imperial powers, local states, and international organisations. Despite the abundance of available sources, the story of smuggling is largely absent from recent literature and provides material for the revision of dominant narratives of Turkish, Greek, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean history.

Daniel-Joseph MacArthur-Seal received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2014. His thesis, titled ‘Britain’s Levantine empire, 1914-1923′, compared the principle cities of the eastern Mediterranean’s experience of Allied occupation during and after the First World War. His research interests include smuggling, prostitution, urban planning and governance, nightlife, cosmopolitanism, migration, imperialism and internationalism in the early twentieth century Ottoman and post-Ottoman Mediterranean. His current research project on ‚Smuggling and the remaking of the eastern Mediterranean, 1912-1940’ examines the impact of the rise of national and international restrictions on the trade and consumption of narcotics on the social history of Istanbul and other port cities.

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