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The Ottoman Empire is approahced through analysis of its political economy based on world systems theory. Relations with Europe constituted one of the key factors that shaped the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Yet a comprehensive account of the nature, development, and consequences of these realtions has, until now, never been developed. This book moves beyond the narrow framework of Euro-Ottoman relations, and places Europe at the center of the expanding world economy as it examines the impact of this global system on the Ottoman Empire. Its main contention is that the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire was the culmination of a long term process whereby the Ottoman territories became integral parts of the European-centered world economy, and Ottoman state a subordinate member of the interstate system.

In addition to the broad processes eminating from outside, the author focuses on the transformation of the political, economic, and social structures in the Ottoman Empire. The changes in processes of production, networks of trade, and relations among various social groups are described on the basis of archival material on western Anatolia.

Considering world affairs and Ottoman developments simultaneously makes this work unique in its field. This approach captures the transformation of the Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century in all its complexity. In addition to providing original information about western Anatolia, the books also offers a general model for combining the macro concerns of historical sociology with detailed research in social history.
A Moveable Empire examines the history of the Ottoman Empire through a new lens, focusing on the migrant groups that lived within its bounds and their changing relationship to the state's central authorities. Unlike earlier studies that take an evolutionary view of tribe-state relations -- casting the development of a state as a story in which nomadic tribes give way to settled populations -- this book argues that mobile groups played an important role in shaping Ottoman institutions and, ultimately, the early republican structures of modern Turkey.

Over much of the empire's long history, local interests influenced the development of the Ottoman state as authorities sought to enlist and accommodate the various nomadic groups in the region. In the early years of the empire, maintaining a nomadic presence, especially in frontier regions, was an important source of strength. Cooperation between the imperial center and tribal leaders provided the center with an effective way of reaching distant parts of the empire, while allowing tribal leaders to perpetuate their own authority and guarantee the tribes' survival as bearers of distinct cultures and identities. This relationship changed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as indigenous communities discovered new possibilities for expanding their own economic and political power by pursuing local, regional, and even global opportunities, independent of the Ottoman center.

The loose, flexible relationship between the Ottoman center and migrant communities became a liability under these changing conditions, and the Ottoman state took its first steps toward settling tribes and controlling migrations. Finally, in the early twentieth century, mobility took another form entirely as ethnicity-based notions of nationality led to forced migrations.

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