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Nineteenth-Century Local Governance in Ottoman Bulgaria

Politics in Provincial Councils

M. Safa Saracoglu

Paperback (Forthcoming)
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Hardback
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A comprehensive history of the provincial administrative and judiciary structure in Ottoman-governed Bulgaria

  • Draws on provincial documents from Bulgarian archives to reveal a well-connected provincial political and economic environment in which the local elite played important roles alongside state officials.
  • Provides a comprehensive discussion of the provincial bureaucratic and judiciary structure in Ottoman Balkans in the 19th century.
  • Explains the investment of the local elite in the 19th century transformation of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Provides an account of the main political structures in a key Bulgarian province at the eve of Bulgarian independence and in the midst of significant demographic movements involving the Turks, Bulgarians and the Adyghe people (Circassians).

This book provides a detailed exploration of the way in which administrative and judicial offices and practices provided an essential space for politics in 19th-century Bulgaria, securing local inhabitants’ participation with Ottoman imperial governance. Combining a wealth of primary documents in both Bulgarian and Ottoman Turkish, this is the first systematic and comprehensive study of the connection between imperially-designed institutions and local politics.

Contents

Acknowledgements
Table of Contents
Abbreviations
Preface

1 - INTRODUCTION
The Argument
Vidin
Structure of The Book

2 - CONTEXTUALIZING THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
The Tanzimat Era: Marking a Crisis and a Transition
Means of Production and Ottoman Social Formation
From Tax Farmers to Tax Collectors
The Liberal-Capitalist Ottoman Social Formation
Governance, Official Print and Information Flow
Conclusion

3 - SITTING TOGETHER: LOCAL COUNCILS AND THE POLITICS OF ELECTION IN THE COUNTY OF VIDIN
The Many Parts of the Imperial Dominions: The County as an Administrative Unit
The 1871 Regulation: The County as a Reflection of the Province
Councils: Inevitable Dynamism?
Councils: Conveying or Constituting Reality?
Of Permanency and Change: the Politics of Election
Conclusion

4 - ONCE INSIDE THE CHAMBER … : PARTICIPATION IN THE POLITICS OF LOCAL ADMINISTRATION
Seals: Images of Participation?
The Rationale for the Seals
The Frequency and Synchronicity
Right side up?
Yearbooks: Reflections of the Judicio-Administrative Sphere.
Conclusion: A Better Vision of the System?

5 - WRITING POLITICS: OTTOMAN GOVERNMENTALITY AND THE LANGUAGE OF REPORTS
'Several Times He had been Given Well-Intended Reminders': A case of Local Antagonism
Land and Power in Berkofça
Ottoman Governmentality
Utilizing Ottoman Governance
Staying Out: Challenging Ottoman Governmentality
Conclusion

6 - 'CATTLE THIEVES': REFUGEE SETTLEMENT, OTTOMAN GOVERNMENTALITY AND BIOPOLITICS
The Numbers
Cattle as Liquidity
'Security, Territory, Population' in Vidin
From Refugees to Cattle Thieves
Conclusion

7 - CONCLUSION
Survival of Lower-Tier Elites
Crisis and Means of Production
Connected Offices
Contentious Dynamics
Conniving Narratives
Politics of Liberalism

Select Bibliography
Archives
Encyclopaedias and Dictionaries
Official publications
Secondary Sources

About the Author

M. Safa Saracoglu is a Professor of History at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He is co-editor (with Kent F. Schull) of Law and Legality in the Ottoman Empire and Republic of Turkey (2016) and the founding editor of the Collaborative Research Initiative in Ottoman Sociolegal Studies (CRIOS), an open-access database dedicated to exploring the nineteenth-century Ottoman legal transformation (http://crios.bloomu.edu/).

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