Integration and Minoritization: Governing Hierarchies in the Late Ottoman Empire
The project examines the making of ethno-confessional hierarchies in late Ottoman state and society with a particular focus on Armenians in the empire. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire extended equality before the law to its non-Muslim subjects under a new imperial and international regime. The last quarter of the nineteenth century marked important changes in Ottoman policymaking. Sultan Abdülhamid introduced a set of new policies in order to assert the primacy of his Sunni Muslim subjects and to curb Armenian efforts towards self-governance and administrative integration. The project focuses on this period (1856-1908) in order to trace the shifts and contradictions in the Ottoman regime of ethnicity. The reformation and abolition of ethnic, confessional and racial hierarchies were at the center of imperial and international politics during this period. The global connections in the Ottoman case are doubly important, because Ottoman modernization was intrinsically tied with international diplomacy from the middle of the nineteenth century. Therefore, it also seeks to situate the Ottoman example within a global context with attention to the contemporaneous expansions and contractions of citizenship and subjecthood in the Russian Empire and the United States.