Popular explanations for the roots of the Middle East's conflicts often cite Western-imposed national boundaries during and after the First World War. Proponents of these explanations point to the famed Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 and other deals that reflected imperial interests and seemingly sidelined Middle Eastern actors. A new book tackles this narrative head-on, arguing that Middle Easterners actually had greater agency in their own state formation, especially during a decade of anti-colonial insurgencies and rebellions after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1922.

Join Frederic Wehrey as he moderates a discussion between Jonathan Wyrtzen, the author of Worldmaking in the Long Great War: How Local and Colonial Struggles Shaped the Modern Middle East, and panelists Aslı Bâli and Lisa Anderson.