Theses Doctoral

The New Order and Its Enemies: Opposition to Military Reform in the Ottoman Empire, 1789 - 1807

Ustun, Kadir

This dissertation is a study of the New Order (Nizam-i Cedid) army and the opposition it triggered during the reign of Selim III (1789-1807). It aims to present an alternative perspective on the Ottoman military reform and its implications for the course of the imperial transformation. It hopes to contribute to the social history of Ottoman military reform through an investigation of the challenges the state faced as well as the motivations of political, military, economic, and social groups in opposing the new army. This period represented a moment of crisis of great magnitude for the Ottoman imperial center. However, in military and financial terms, it was also a moment of reconfiguration and restructuring of Ottoman state power. Constant contestation and continuous renegotiation of state power occurred between the state elites and various societal actors. These actors did not necessarily have a fixed position on military reform. In fact, the military reform measures were part of the bargaining process and both the state elites and different political actors shifted their positions depending on the circumstances. This study aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the causes of resistance by various groups such as the janissaries, local notables, and common people. It argues that their resistance shaped the possibilities of the Ottoman military reform by challenging the centralized, rationalized, disciplined, and bureaucratic new logic of the modern state.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Thesis Advisors
Khalidi, Rashid
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 16, 2013