Cosmopolitanism and its aftermath: The rise and fall of Greek and Turkish business in Alexandria

Christine Bischoff, Mehmet Demirbag, Geoffrey Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the rise and fall of Greek and Turkish business and commerce in Alexandria, Egypt. As the existing literature alerts us, shifting forms of colonial rule made for a complex and multifaceted cosmopolitanism, in which each community secured a distinct economic space. In part, this was due to the insertion of Alexandria into the growing world economy of the nineteenth century, which allowed for both the rise of modern businesses in trade and manufacturing, and a resurgence of quasi feudal, yet export orientated, forms of agricultural production; we evaluate this process through recourse to state and private sector archives. It is concluded that neither community was able to survive the rise of Egyptian nationalism and the diminishing space it allotted to ethnic business. We explore the implications of these findings for the study of business, cosmopolitanism and decosmopolitanization.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalBusiness History
Early online date21 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2023


  • Alexandria
  • cosmopolitanism
  • decosmopolitanizatin
  • Egypt
  • ethnic minority business
  • nationalism
  • population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • History


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