Ground-level actors of Russian Imperialism in the Ottoman World

Project: FDCRGP

Project Details

Grant Program

Faculty-development competitive research grants program for 2023-2025

Project Description

This research is looking at Russian - Ottoman relations in the long nineteenth century in the Caucasus from a less studied angle. Тhis research goes beyond the relations between the centers of the two states and looks at the interactions of different kinds of ground-level agents of imperialism such as consuls, archaeologists, ethnographers, merchants, and missionaries. While many studies of empire and imperialism in the 19th have been concerned with connections between the center and peripheries, the role of ground-level actors, who were the actual sources of the information about the peripheries, is neglected. This research will concentrate on the Russian consuls, missionaries, scholars, scientists and merchants functioning in the Eastern Anatolian territories of the Ottoman empire and try to understand how the ground-level actors practiced diplomacy and what was their role in the making of imperial and foreign policy?
I argue that, the miscellaneous ground level agents of imperialism functioned in the global system of competing empires and all the activities of different agents caried important political functions. Therefore, understanding the information created by these ground-level actors of imperialism is critical to understand how empires as well as the global system of empires functioned in this period.
This study builds upon my previous research on Russian military occupation of the Ottoman territories during WWI. That research had shown that state and non-state actors had different and sometimes conflicting understanding, aims and practices of imperialist policies in the occupied territories. In the proposed research I want to analyze the formation of these differences and their interrelation by looking at the time before the First World War when state and non-state ground level actors of Russian imperialism had functioned in the Ottoman territories alongside with their Western counterparts.
Short titleGround-level actors of Russian Imperialism
Effective start/end date1/1/2312/31/25