The field of cultural policies is novel and burgeoning; it harbors diverse and even contradictory approaches, with no universally recognizable principles; it has no common language of its own nor any unified theoretical perspective. The field is fragmented and heterogeneous in nature and bound to the interaction of multiple actors in different institutional settings. Although it began initially as a western academic and institutional endeavor, and developed mostly in the U.S. and Western Europe, cultural policies has turned out to be a common good for the entire world both as an academic discipline and as a bureaucratic and institutional enterprise.
Sean McMeekin’s book is a critical reading of the history of German involvement in the Middle East during World War I. It is specifically a political history of an internationally significant enterprise, namely the Berlin–Baghdad railway project. The book presents a chronological account of events, following a thematic course and mainly episodic in character. Methodologically, states, rulers and certain individuals are taken as prime agents in the narrative.
Stefan Winter’s recent study is a truly revisionist reading of the history of Leba- nese communities under the Ottoman Em- pire. It is the product of a problem-oriented and well-organized research; an earlier ver- sion had been submitted as a doctoral dis- sertation to Chicago University in 2002.