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A Nation of Empire: The Ottoman Legacy of Turkish Modernity Hardcover – March 4, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 433 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (March 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520225260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520225268
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,585,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


[Meeker] talks intriguingly of "the imperialism of personhood and community" [and raises other] fascinating questions, all of which [he] does not answer.--"Tls"

About the Author

Michael E. Meeker is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, and author of Literature and Violence in North Arabia (1979) and The Pastoral Son and the Spirit of Patriarchy (1989).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Casad on November 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
Michael Meeker's A Nation of Empire examines the way in which certain tactics deployed by the imperial Ottoman state have been redeployed in the context of the modern nation-state of Turkey. He is particularly concerned with the supposed conflict between local elite rulers and the centralized state government. Meeker views the presence of the local elite not in opposition to the central government, but rather as an extension of the centralized government (Porte) that arose during the decentralization processes of the post-classical imperial period.

Key to understanding this development are two aspects of life: a support of universalism, in the guise of both normative Islam and Ottoman imperialism, and a system of interpersonal association.

The localized forms of power, invested in the aghas, their mansions, associated clans, and later affiliations with parties "had arisen as district social formations in the course of local participation in the imperial system" (30). By means of this, the Oflu "turned away from parochial customs and habits and turned toward the universal norms of the imperial system" (39). This resulted through the orientation of the Oflu to places other than their homeland. Meeker argues that because of economic orientations and a predisposition to leave subsistence work to women, Oflu men "tended, then, as both individuals and communities, to see themselves as participants in universal projects of power and truth" (97) and that "local and global factors combined to reinforce a preoccupation with...`the horizon of elsewheres'" (98). This orientation provided a subjective experience, such that they "conceived themselves in relationship to all kinds of elsewheres" (100).
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