hosted by Zoe Griffith
The turn of the nineteenth century was a period of tumult and transformation in the Ottoman Empire as in many places around the world from France to Haiti, China, and the United States. With people, ideas, and armies on the move as never before, new geopolitical pressures pushed states around the globe to reinvent their relationships to their subjects and citizens. In this episode, we talk with Ali Yaycioglu about his new book Partners of the Empire: The Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions. We explore the Ottoman experience during the Age of Revolutions, which saw the rise of new participatory mechanisms that brought Ottoman subjects from many walks of life into the arena of imperial politics. We discuss the empowerment of local committees and the election of ayans in the countryside, and we consider the Janissaries as the voice of the popular will in Ottoman cities. Ultimately, we ask why new forms of participatory politics and limits on central authority failed to take root, even as they laid the foundation for later experiments in constitutional government during the Tanzimat era and beyond.