Pax Britannica and the anti-systemic movement of viceroy Mehmet Ali Pasha of Egypt.

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2019
Akın, Okyanu
The Pax Britannica, as a system, defined the political-economy of the nineteenth century. Throughout this period, the state and the market became increasingly liberal, the “political” and the “economic” became further interdependent, and interests of the dominant Powers were extended throughout the world. Great Britain turned out to be the leading state in this context and, with her ever-increasing power, embarked upon setting the systemic norms. Her strength relied on the will and ability to synthesise instruments of state, commerce, and capital. She would not only determine the course of the Pax Britannica, but would also derive from the impulse to re-systematise any trajectory deviating from that course. The present study attempts to analyse one of such examples: the anti-systemic movement, which, embodied by Kavalalı Mehmet Ali Pasha, challenged the system’s fundamentals in multiple directions from Egypt during the first half of the nineteenth century. In this regard, the study addresses the following: how the said entity would be placed under the spotlight of the system in terms of its characteristics as well as its ambitions; the damage it would produce on the functioning of the system at the regional and international levels; and the inevitable reaction by the various forces of the system against Mehmet Ali’s movement. The thesis essentially examines the incompatibility between the Pax Britannica and Mehmet Ali as an anti-systemic entity; tries to question the Pax Britannica’s function in the rise and fall of Mehmet Ali’s Egypt; and addresses Egypt’s re-orientation within the system in its post-Mehmet Ali form.