Putting Partition in Global Context with Laura Robson and Arie Dubnov

Laura Robson and Arie Dubnov join us to talk about the history of partition—separating territories and peoples to create new states—and why it matters in a global context. In the book which Laura and Arie co-edited, Partitions: A Transnational History of Twentieth-Century Territorial Separation, they and the many authors who contributed to the project have brought together three important cases of partition in the twentieth century: Ireland in the 1920s, Israel and Palestine in 1937 and 1947, and India and Pakistan in 1948. It’s a phenomenal project that highlights the intersection of geopolitical developments and allows us to tie together what are usually seen as national histories in a global sense.

Laura Robson is a professor of history at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book, States of Separation: Transfer, Partition, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, which appeared in 2017, explores the history of forced migration, population exchanges, and refugee resettlement in Iraq, Syria, and Palestine during the interwar period.

Arie Dubnov holds the Max Ticktin Chair of Israel Studies at George Washington University. Arie’s a historian of twentieth-century Jewish and Israeli history, with emphasis on the history of political thought, the study of nationalism, and decolonization. Among his publications are an intellectual biography Isaiah Berlin: The Journey of a Jewish Liberal (2012) and the edited volume Zionism—A View from the Outside (2010 [in Hebrew]), which seeks to put Zionist history in a larger comparative trajectory.

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