Bandits and Bureaucrats: The Ottoman Route to State by Karen Barkey

By Karen Barkey

Why did the most problem to the Ottoman kingdom come now not in peasant or elite rebellions, yet in endemic banditry? Karen Barkey exhibits how Turkish options of incorporating peasants and rotating elites saved either teams depending on the nation, not able and unwilling to insurgent. Bandits, previously mercenary squaddies, weren't attracted to uprising yet targeting attempting to achieve kingdom assets, extra as rogue consumers than as primitive rebels. The state's skill to manage and manage bandits - via bargains, deals, and patronage - indicates imperial power instead of weak spot, she continues. Bandits and Bureaucrats info, in a wealthy, archivally established research, state-society kinfolk within the Ottoman Empire throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Exploring present eurocentric theories of nation development, the writer illuminates a interval often mischaracterized as one within which the kingdom declined in strength. Outlining the techniques of imperial rule, Barkey relates the state's political and army associations to their social foundations. She compares the Ottoman course with kingdom centralization within the chinese language and Russian empires, and contrasts reports of uprising in France through the similar interval. Bandits and Bureaucrats therefore develops a theoretical interpretation of imperial kingdom centralization, via incorporation and bargaining with social teams, and while enriches our realizing of the dynamics of Ottoman heritage.

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25 Thus, it would seem that Tayyarzâde had been taking liberties in devising a ‘story’ that combined elements of the reign of Ahmed III with themes from Selim III’s day (1789–1807). The phrase Nizâm-i Cedid was nevertheless in currency prior to Selim III’s failed attempts to reform the Ottoman armies. 28 But Atâ’s source, the Hadikat ül-Vüzerâ, mentions neither the phrase Nizâm-i Cedid nor Damad İbrahim’s efforts to establish a new order in the Ottoman empire. But aside from his spurious attempt to endow Damad İbrahim with a reformist vigour in the military field, Ahmed Refik also asserts that the vizier had been a cultural innovator, a modernizer who tried to acquaint the Oriental Ottomans with the fashions and styles of the Occident.

If, according to Amy Singer (in the opening quotation), it would have been intellectually lazy to espouse the decline thesis in 1999, then, given the state of the field today, it is equally lazy to espouse antidecline in 2007. The invocation of decline is not only academically superfluous but it also undermines the achievements of scholarship in the past 25 years, which are many. Regardless of what one may think of an individual revisionist work, or a particular method or framework, the cumulative effect of the scholarship has demonstrated the empirical and theoretical invalidity of the decline thesis, and offered a portrayal of an internally dynamic Ottoman state and society.

The logic behind the control of sexuality was to safeguard both the perpetuation of the dynasty and the integrity of the incumbent sultan’s authority. According to Peirce, the rise of the queen mother figure was an inevitable result of the Ottoman empire’s change during the course of the sixteenth century from a military expansionist power to a sedentary, administrative bureaucracy. Initially, royal princes participated in state power through their appointment to princely governorates where they would get hands-on training, a chance to establish their reputation in conquest and, possibly, a ‘constituency’ of supporters.

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