Reinstating The Ottomans: Alternative Balkan Modernities, 1800-1912 by I. BlumiReinstating The Ottomans: Alternative Balkan Modernities, 1800-1912 by I. Blumi

Reinstating The Ottomans: Alternative Balkan Modernities, 1800-1912

byI. Blumi

Hardcover | April 28, 2011

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This book focuses on the western Balkans in the period 1800-1912, in particular on the peoples and social groups that subsequent national histories would later identify as Albanians, providing a revisionist exploration of national identity prior to the establishment of the nation-state. Isa Blumi posits that such an identity was politically mobilized, and, that prior to the 1912 Balkan war it was culturally opaque and ideologically fluid. In relation to the competition among various state and power structures, be it in the shape of great power intervention, attempts at building new states, or the Ottoman political center, Blumi shows that Ottoman reforms were successful in encouraging most state subjects to commingle local interest with the fate of the empire itself, meaning that parochial concern for the survival of the immediate community, as it transformed over time, was directly linked to the survival of the Ottoman state.
Isa Blumi is currently a Fellow at the Centre for Area Studies at Leipzig University. He teaches Balkan, Middle Eastern, and world history at Georgia State University. His previous books include Rethinking the Late Ottoman Empire (2003); Chaos in Yemen (2010); and Foundations of Modernity (2011).
Title:Reinstating The Ottomans: Alternative Balkan Modernities, 1800-1912Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pagesPublished:April 28, 2011Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230110185

ISBN - 13:9780230110182

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Table of Contents

The Search for a Narrative of Transition * Retrieving Historical Process: Transitions to a Modern Story * Repositioning Agency and the Forces of Change * The Compromised Empire: Ethnicity and Faith under State Powers * Governing Exchange: Boundaries and the Struggle to Define/Confine * Learning the Wrong Lesson: Local Challenges to Educational Reform

Editorial Reviews

"Blumi has produced a valuable study of the western Balkans during the late Ottoman period, challenging others to examine the interaction of local and imperial identities elsewhere in the empire. This work is essential reading for anyone interested in this period and in the establishment of ethnonational Ottoman successor states." - International Journal of Middle East Studies"Undoubtedly I applaud Blumi's approach to nationalism and see his book as a must read for students with interests in Ottoman-Balkan history." - International Journal of Turkish Studies"Blumi's approach is closely akin to subaltern studies. He considers alternative forms of modernity that came not from the top down, not from an elite center, but from refugees, mountaineers, and peasants . . . In doing this, he helps us to understand Balkan society not as nationalist discourses depict it, but with more complexity and variation over time . . . This work should be of interest for all of those who work on the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire, and, more generally, the notion of multiple paths to modernity." - The American Historical Review "Blumi's argument is certainly sound, and he offers intriguing glimpses of local society and local politics that are rarely seen elsewhere." - Slavic Review "Reinstating the Ottomans will - and it should, I believe - provoke strong reactions, but this is only a strength of the book because its well-founded conclusions and meticulously established observations - if not new facts - is a much needed challenge to any student not only of the western Balkans but of the Ottoman Empire as a whole as well as of south-eastern Europe. His historical scholarly methodology reflects a strict observance of the rigorous basic rules of the modern historical science, namely that the historian should show how things actually happened. This is what Blumi does. The same basic rules also require that the historian should refrain from judging the past. This is the tendency Blumi takes to task when questioning the categories used by the national historiography. Blumi fruitfully applies insights from social science and literary studies among others in his analysis of the sources. This approach enables him to identify - and 'give a voice' to - those who were governed." - Mogens Pelt, Associate Professor in International History at Saxo Institute, History Section, University of Copenhagen "This book beautifully traces the coincidences and personalities during the crucial second half of the nineteenth century when the new states emerged, and shows how the Ottoman state responded and how states, borders, and bureaucracies descended across the Balkans. By focusing on the regions which remained with the Ottoman Empire longest, Blumi sketches a rich narrative of people who did not identify as Albanians, Ottomans, or Muslims, but whose ambiguity of identity was a defining mark of the region at least until the early twentieth century. The book is not only a rewarding read for those interested in the history of Balkans, but it also helps us understand the present in this part of Europe better and forces us to take a hard look at the seeming 'normality' of nations today." - Florian Bieber, Professor for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz "Isa Blumi masterfully questions the way Balkan history is often told; instead of using national binaries, he revives the fluid affiliations of those inhabitants of the Western Balkans that became residents of Albania after 1912. His examination of the final years of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans is refreshing in its faithful recovery of the conflicting experiences of individuals and communities facing fundamental change. This is an excellent contribution to a growing body of works that demonstrate the futility of searching for firm national identities in the Ottoman Balkans and instead explore the local and regional loyalties of the population." - Theodora Dragostinova, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Ohio State University