Between Sultan and Emperor. Imperial Legacies, Religion, and Governance in Ottoman-Habsburg Borderlands, 1800-1900

This project explores the re-shaping of political culture and governance as well as the entangled imperial legacies in the Ottoman-Habsburg borderlands during the nineteenth century. By focusing on a region that has long been the site of contested religious, imperial and national legacies during a period framed by competing projects of imperial reform, independence movements and nation-building, it seeks to explore the complexities of Ottoman imperial borderland dynamics from a comparative, yet integrated perspective.

The guiding research question is how structures of governance developed within an international context shaped by the Great Powers, between imperial realities, “national” aspirations, and local traditions. It will be of utmost importance to scrutinize, whether and how the intended efforts from above at re-shaping empires and building new states were implemented on the spot and whether and how local developments itself proved to be incentives for international, imperial and/or national reactions.

The project is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) between 2015 and 2019. It is embedded in the research focus "Habsburg International“. This research focus is concerned with questions of central and local governance, statehood, and international relations of the Habsburg monarchy. The entangled histories of the Habsburg monarchy with its imperial neighbours (i.e. the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, and Prussia/Germany) provides both valubale international and non-Eurocentric perspectives of modern Habsburg history.



Dr. Michael Portmann

Secil Uluisik, MA (FWF-Projektmitarbeiterin)