The Eastern Question Reconsidered
An innovative and ambitious reassessment of one of the most dominant political concerns of the nineteenth century: What to do about a declining Ottoman Empire?
During the nineteenth century—as violence, population dislocations, and rebellions unfolded in the borderlands between the Russian and Ottoman Empires—European and Russian diplomats debated the “Eastern Question,” or, “What should be done about the Ottoman Empire?” Russian-Ottoman Borderlands brings together an international group of scholars to show that the Eastern Question was not just one but many questions that varied tremendously from one historical actor and moment to the next. The Eastern Question (or, from the Ottoman perspective, the Western Question) became the predominant subject of international affairs until the end of the First World War. Its legacy continues to resonate in the Balkans, the Black Sea region, and the Caucasus today.
The contributors address ethnicity, religion, popular attitudes, violence, dislocation and mass migration, economic rivalry, and great-power diplomacy. Through a variety of fresh approaches, they examine the consequences of the Eastern Question in the lives of those peoples it most affected, the millions living in the Russian and Ottoman Empires and the borderlands in between.
“The essays reveal the significant, often devastating impact the manifestation of the Eastern Question had on the peoples of the [Ottoman] empire, particularly the minorities in the western and northern borderlands. . . . Impressively researched, thought-provoking, and accessible.”
—Modern Greek Studies Yearbook
“The authors go beyond the traditional examination of the great powers to explore these points with respect to local or regional issues. . . . This volume will be important to the fields of diplomatic and world history as well as Russian and Ottoman history. Recommended.”
“This very rich volume of essays has succeeded admirably in bringing to our attention the exciting new trends and directions in Eastern Question scholarship, which promise to keep the field vibrant and dynamic.”
—The Russian Review
“Unexpectedly timely. The essays in this collection admirably indicate new directions for a necessarily transnational approach to a region whose history is still constantly being written and rewritten by various stakeholders.”
—Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space
“A breakthrough to a new way of conceiving the Eastern Question. This collection relocates the field of vision from Constantinople and the Straits to the borderlands between the Russian and Ottoman Empires, territories stretching from the Balkans to Transcaspia. Utilizing new information from the Russian and Ottoman archives, the Eastern Question is no longer limited to a study in diplomacy, but now acquires political, cultural, national, and economic dimensions, and a larger cast of players.”
—Peter Weisensel, Macalester College
“Integrating ethnicity, religion, popular attitudes, violence, dislocation, mass migration, and the complexities of annexing border provinces, all to create a textured, multi-sided glimpse into the actual workings of the last century of Russian-Ottoman relations, this book represents a sampling of international history at its best.”
—David Goldfrank, Georgetown University
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