The collapse of the Ottoman Empire resulted in the birth of new nation states in the Balkans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Conflicting Loyalties in the Balkans offers a fresh perspective on the dynamics of the emerging national order in the Balkans by exploring the effects of the Ottoman reform era upon its societies - shedding much-needed light on the history of the region during the early nation-state period. Focusing on developments which go beyond the over-researched dimension of political or elite discourse, this book offers insights into the complex ways in which Balkan societies were transformed - bringing to light the interplay between Great Power politics, state reforms and social dynamics on the ground from a variety of regional viewpoints. More broadly, it examines the shifting system of power at work within the Empire in the context of everyday realities and political allegiances. The authors seek to identify how the policies of the Ottoman state, the Great Powers and the new nation-states were implemented across its territories in line with competing social, economic and political interests. They show how a policy of 'Europeanisation', rather than being a reality, often served as a label for giving legitimacy to a variety of agencies. Further, the authors elaborate on the impact of violence as a vital strategic instrument in achieving political goals. Providing a nuanced view of the key political actors who navigated the tumultuous process of modernisation across the regions of the Empire, this is a thorough investigation of the conflicting loyalties which have shaped the political framework of the post-Ottoman Balkans. It also examines the role of economic reform, ethnic violence and competing loyalties in the Empire's preamble to collapse and beyond. This is an important and fascinating insight into the logic and contradictions of daily life in a crucial period of Balkan and Ottoman history.
Conflicting Loyalties in the Balkans
The Great Powers, the Ottoman Empire and Nation-building