The Ottomans in Europe: uneven and combined development and Eurocentrism

Nisancioglu, Kerem (2014) The Ottomans in Europe: uneven and combined development and Eurocentrism. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

PDF - Published Version
Download (54MB) | Preview


This thesis challenges the Eurocentric division of international history into distinct 'Western' and 'Eastern' strands by demonstrating the intensive historical interactivity between the Ottoman Empire and Europe. Addressing Weberian, Marxian and postcolonial inspired historiography, it seeks to overcome a series of interconnected binaries- East versus West, tradition versus modernity and inside versus outside- that characterise the one-sidedness of these approaches. This thesis argues that Uneven and Combined Development (U&CD) is a theoretical framework primed to overcoming precisely such partialities, and can therefore make an original contribution to Ottoman historiography.
More specifically the thesis tackles problems in Ottoman historiography across three key junctures. Through a treatment of the origins of the Empire, I demonstrate that the Ottoman tributary state was a product of international determinations- a form of combined development. Analysing the Ottoman apogee of the sixteenth century, I argue that Ottoman geopolitical pressure on Europe created sociological conditions for that emergence of capitalism. Finally, I show that Ottoman decline was inextricable from the uneven and combined development of capitalism over the course of the long nineteenth century. These historical analyses offer distinct contributions to historical sociological debates around the 'tributary mode of production', the 'Rise of the West' and 'modernisation' respectively.
Theoretically, I show that any historical study from a singular spatial vantage point will always tend to be partial. Instead, multiple vantage points derived from multiple spatio-temporal origins better capture the complexity of concrete historical processes. In presenting this argument, this thesis offers a theoretical reconstruction of U&CD as the articulation of spatio-temporal multiplicity in mode of production analysis, which overcomes the fissure between international relations and historical sociology. It thus extends the theory of U&CD onto the terrain of 'big questions' surrounding pre-capitalist social relations and capitalist modernity.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DR History of Balkan Peninsula > DR0401 Turkey
J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ1305 Scope of international relations. Political theory. Diplomacy > JZ1464 Scope of international relations with regard to countries, territories, regions, etc.
U Military Science > U Military Science (General) > U045 Historiography
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 08 May 2014 10:43
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2015 14:12

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update