Dr Simon Jackson

Dr Simon Jackson

Department of History
Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History

Contact details

I am an historian of colonial empire with a special focus on the Middle East and the Mediterranean in the twentieth century.

I work on the discourse and politics of economic development in the French League of Nations Mandate in Syria and Lebanon, on the history of Fordism in the post-Ottoman Middle East, and on the global history of colonial commodities and natural resources.

For full details see my website at www.simon-jackson.eu


  • BA University of Oxford
  • MA NYU
  • PhD NYU


I am a Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of Birmingham, where in 2014-17 I will also hold a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship. I have also held Max Weber and Jean Monnet Post-Doctoral Fellowships in History at the European University Institute in Florence.


I currently co-teach the two core modules of the  MA Contemporary History : ‘Mass Society and Modernity’ and ‘Globalization since 1945’.

Postgraduate supervision

I offer postgraduate supervision in the colonial, international and global history of the modern Middle East, on empire in the twentieth century Mediterranean and in the comparative history of European empire.


I am currently at work on a book project organized around several themes in the history of the French Mandate in Syria-Lebanon: the influence of World War One on the economic and social theorization of colonial rule, the impact of transnational and global diaspora on the politics of colonial economic development, the role of the League of Nations as a platform for the creation of new economic and legal norms in international and imperial politics. Other current areas of research include: the political economy of Fordism between Detroit and Beirut; a comparative history of economic development in the British and French Mandates in the interwar Middle East; the politics of natural resource extraction in protectorate Morocco; the cultural history of motorized counter-insurgency warfare in the Mashriq during the 1920s.

Other activities

I convene the MA in Contemporary History at the University of Birmingham and co-convene the Institute for Historical Research seminar on Rethinking Modern Europe

For full details see my website at www.simon-jackson.eu


  • "Transformative Relief: from Imperial Humanitarianism to Mandatory Development in Syria-Lebanon after World War One". Forthcoming in Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, forthcoming"
  • The Phosphate Archipelago: Imperial Mining and Global Agriculture in French North Africa." Published in Jahrbuch fuer Wirtschaftsgeschichte/Economic History Yearbook, Vol. 57, No. 1, Spring 2016.
  • “Compassion and Connections: Feeding Beirut and Assembling Mandate Rule in 1919”. in Cyrus Schayegh and Andrew Arsan eds., The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates (Routledge: 2015).
  • “Global Recruitment: the Wartime Origins of French Mandate Syria” in Ludivine Broch and Alison Carrol eds. France in an era of Global War 1914-1945: Occupation, Politics, Empire and Entanglements (Palgrave Macmillan: 2014).
  • 'Diaspora Politics and Developmental Empire: the Syro-Lebanese at the League of Nations.'  Published in Arab Studies Journal, Vol. 21 No. 1 Spring 2013.
  • 'The ‘Huvelin Mission’: economic morality and the French imperial project in the Mashriq, 1919-1920.' Published in Monde(s), Histoire, espace, relations, Vol. 2 No. 4 Autumn 2013.