Economic Thought In The Late Ottoman Empire And The Question Of The Nation

633 words - 3 pages

The project has two research directions. The first proposes an intellectual history of the role of the economy in modern Ottoman political thought. The second looks at economic references on the level of the state and the society to assess their impact on the development of economic thought. True to my methodological approach to locate economic thought in the interrelationship of ideas, state and society, the research for the two directions will overlap. Nevertheless, it is useful to make a conceptual and chronological separation.

The first direction will focus on writings on the economy among Ottoman intellectuals and politi-cians. Due to the limited number of explicitly economic treaties before 1908, a representative analysis is perfectly possible. The project differs from previous studies in its theoretical approach and its empirical choice. To underline the wider philosophical and political context of economic treaties and their link to the general thought of Ottoman transformation, my readings will extend to articles of specialised and general journals . Up to now the press has not been used sufficiently for the study of economic thought, despite the fact that it was the principle vector of intellectual debates in the late Ottoman Empire. Further, I will take up and extend previous readings of a series of core texts of modern Ottoman political thought from the last three decades of the 19th century and from the Young Turk movement to present the economic notions which underlie their argumen-tation. The combined reading of different kinds of economic texts and modern political writings will give a more accurate picture of the importance of economic thought in Ottoman modernisation. It will also explore the link between political liberalism and modern political economy and ask how divergent understandings of the Ottoman nation were expressed through economic conceptions.

The thematic emphasis on the debate on free trade and protectionism provides the overarching theme capable of combining the different...

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