Bedross Der MatossianShattered Dreams of Revolution: Bedross Der Matossian

Stanford University Press, 2014

by Ari Ariel on February 24, 2015

Bedross Der Matossian

View on Amazon

[Cross-posted from New Books in Middle Eastern Studies] The Young Turk revolution of 1908 restored the Ottoman constitution, suspended earlier by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, and initiated a new period of parliamentary politics in the Empire. Likewise, the revolution was a watershed moment for the Empire’s ethnic communities, raising expectations for their full inclusion into the Ottoman political system as modern citizens and bringing to the fore competitions for power within and between groups. In Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire (Stanford University Press, 2014), Bedross Der Matossian examines how Ottoman ethnic communities understood and reacted to the revolution. Focusing on the Arab, Armenian and Jewish communities, and using sources in multiple languages, including Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew, Ladino and Ottoman Turkish, Der Matossian highlights the contradictions and ambiguities in interpretations of  Ottomanism and its reification as political structure. How, for example, could these groups express loyalty to the ideas of the revolution while protecting their own communal interests?

For the Young Turks, the goal of the revolution was first and foremost to centralize power and to preserve the territorial integrity of the Empire. They saw constitutionalism and parliamentarianism as vehicles to this end. For the non-dominant ethnic groups in the Empire, however, the Revolution meant freedom and equality, often understood as political decentralization and the preservation of their ethnic privileges. Through in depth analysis of revolutionary festivals, debates in the ethnic press, electoral campaigns, parliamentary discourse and then reactions to the 1909 counter-revolution, Der Matossian shows us that the dreams of the revolution were shattered under the weight of the incompatibility these understandings.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Sam Gindin and Leo PanitchThe Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire

February 9, 2015

Two Canadian socialist thinkers have published a new book on the successes and failures, the crises, contradictions and conflicts in present-day capitalism. In The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire (Verso, 2013) , Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin trace the evolution of the international capitalist system over the last century. (Panitch is […]

Read the full article →

Emilie CloatrePills for the Poorest: An Exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa

February 9, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Medicine] Emilie Cloatre’s award-winning book, Pills for the Poorest: An Exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa (Palgrave, 2013), locates the effects—and ineffectualness—of a landmark international agreement for healthcare: the World Trade Organization’s “Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.” Cloatre takes seriously the idea of TRIPS as a technology in Bruno Latour’s […]

Read the full article →

Bilyana LillyRussian Foreign Policy toward Missile Defense: Actors, Motivations, and Influence

February 3, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Russian and Eurasian Studies] The current conflict in Ukraine has reopened old wounds and brought the complexity of Russia’s relationship with the United States and Europe to the forefront. One of the most important factors in relations between the Kremlin and the West has been the issue of Ballistic Missile Defense, particularly […]

Read the full article →

Carol GouldInteractive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice

February 2, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Philosophy] Contemporary advances in technology have in many ways made the world smaller.  It is now possible for vast numbers of geographically disparate people to interact, communicate, coordinate, and plan.  These advances potentially bring considerable benefits to democracy, such as greater participation, more inclusion, easier dissemination of information, and so on.  Yet […]

Read the full article →

Jan LemnitzerPower, Law and the End of Privateering

January 22, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Law] Jan Lemnitzer’s new book Power, Law and the End of Privateering (Palgrave, 2014) offers an exciting new take on the relationship between law and power, exposing the delicate balance between great powers and small states that is necessary to create and enforce norms across the globe. The 1856 Declaration of Paris marks the precise […]

Read the full article →

Elizabeth SchmidtForeign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror

January 21, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in African Studies] Elizabeth Schmidt‘s Foreign Intervention in Africa: From the Cold War to the War on Terror (Cambridge University Press, 2013) depicts the foreign political and military interventions in Africa during the periods of decolonization (1956-75) and the Cold War (1945-91), as well as the periods of state collapse (1991-2001) and the “global war on […]

Read the full article →

Michael KwassContraband: Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground

January 19, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in French Studies] Michael Kwass‘s new book, Contraband: Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground is much more than an exciting biography of the notorious eighteenth-century smuggler whose name remains legendary in contemporary France. Focusing on the rise and fall of a mythic, early-modern French bandit, Kwass’s study moves between the micro- and […]

Read the full article →

Carl H. NightingaleSegregation: A Global History of Divided Cities

January 5, 2015

[Cross-posted from New Books in Urban Studies]  We often think of South Africa or America when we hear the word ‘segregation.’ Or — a popular view — that social groups have always chosen to live apart. But as Carl H. Nightingale shows in his new book, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (University of Chicago Press, 2012), the racial […]

Read the full article →

Lyman JohnsonWorkshop of Revolution: Plebian Buenos Aires and the Atlantic World, 1776-1810

December 13, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Latin American Studies] Lyman Johnson’s book Workshop of Revolution: Plebian Buenos Aires and the Atlantic World, 1776-1810 (Duke University Press, 2011) analyzes the economic, political, and social lives of working people in Argentina’s colonial capital.  Johnson traces the economic challenges facing plebian workers in Buenos Aires, including competition from foreign goods, the arrival […]

Read the full article →