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Empire of Difference


  • 2 b/w illus. 2 tables
  • Page extent: 360 pages
  • Size: 234 x 156 mm
  • Weight: 0.55 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521715331)

This book is a comparative study of imperial organization and longevity that assesses Ottoman successes as well as failures against those of other empires with similar characteristics. Barkey examines the Ottoman Empire's social organization and mechanisms of rule at key moments of its history, emergence, imperial institutionalization, remodeling, and transition to nation-state, revealing how the empire managed these moments, adapted, and averted crises and what changes made it transform dramatically. The flexible techniques by which the Ottomans maintained their legitimacy, the cooperation of their diverse elites both at the center and in the provinces, as well as their control over economic and human resources were responsible for the longevity of this particular 'negotiated empire'. Her analysis illuminates topics that include imperial governance, imperial institutions, imperial diversity and multiculturalism, the manner in which dissent is handled and/or internalized, and the nature of state society negotiations.

• Views the Ottoman empire in a comparative perspective • Combines social science methodology with a strong sense of historical perspective • Covers a wide range of topics, including imperial governance, institutions, diversity and multiculturalism, and conflict resolution


Part I: 1. Introduction; 2. Emergence: brokerage across networks; 3. Becoming an empire: imperial institutions and control; 4. Maintaining empire: an expression of tolerance; 5. The social organization of dissent; Part II. The Transformation of the Eighteenth Century: 6. An eventful eighteenth century: empowering the political; 7. A networking society: commercialization, tax-farming, and social relations; 8. On the road out of empire: Ottomans struggle from empire to nation-state.


'… a book that is notable for influencing the present trend in Ottoman studies through its aims at reconsidering the roots of the Ottoman state-building process … exhibits a new step in [Barkey's] research on the very nature of the Ottoman Empire …' Nora Lafi, Comparativ

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