The Collapse of Ottoman and Austria-Hungarian Empires: Patterns and Legacies

The Collapse of Ottoman and Austria-Hungarian Empires: Patterns and Legacies

Turkish Studies Project, University of Utah; Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for Social Science History; Institute for East European History, University of Vienna
Institute for East European History, University of Vienna
From - Until
16.01.2014 - 17.01.2014
Tamara Scheer

This conference, which is organized by the University of Utah, the Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for Social Science History, and the Institute for East European History (University of Vienna) will examine the social and political causes of the collapse of Ottoman and Austria-Hungarian Empires and examine the immediate and long-term implications of the processes of imperial dissolution through a set of theoretically guided and empirically based questions. The goal of the conference is to bring together experts from different disciplines, exchange theoretical and empirical insights, and have an academic platform for fruitful discussions on the end of empires and birth of nation-states, with scholarly implications for other imperial and national settings.

While the Vienna meeting will provide a stimulating venue for senior and junior scholars to present the most recent and cutting-edge research on the themes of the conference, the papers presented and discussed will be published by the University of Utah as an edited volume following a strict peer-review process.

1) What is an empire and what is a nation-state? Is it possible to reach a clear distinction between the two conceptual currencies? What characteristics of empires do nation-states retain and what tools of nation-state do empires utilize? How do imperial frameworks persist and under what conditions are they relinquished by the ruling elites?

2) How do empires collapse? Are there certain patterns of imperial disintegration that explain the collapse of Ottoman and Austria Hungarian Empires? What were the similar and different factors that led to the collapse of these empires? What were the roles of popular nationalisms, interstate competition, and warfare on the collapse of empires?

3) Did the collapse of Ottoman and Austria-Hungarian Empires provide opportunity spaces for nationalisms and radicalize them or did the bourgeoning nationalisms expedite the collapse of empires?

4) How did the Ottoman and Austria-Hungarian Empires respond to the problems they came face to face? What was the role of ideology in imperial responses to socio-economic and political crises and where to locate political pragmatism in imperial decision-making? Were the imperial responses similar in nature or differed from one another?

5) What is the immediate and far-reaching legacy of the collapse of empires? How did the collapse of empires in two settings shape the immediate post-imperial boundaries in their respective region? How are the legacies of empires remembered and utilized in today’s Austria and Hungary and Turkey? How are imperial frameworks remembered in national settings of former subject nations?

6) What is the role of nationalist teleological approaches in writing the histories of the late imperial settings? To what extent is it possible to avoid writing history from the vantage point of modern nation-states that emerged after the collapse of imperial orders that is, in anticipation of the birth of nation-state structures?


THURSDAY, January 16

16.00-16.30 Welcome Address by Philipp Ther
Institute for East European History/University of Vienna

Organizer’s Welcome, Hakan Yavuz (University of Utah) and Tamara Scheer (Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for Social Science History)

16.30-18.00 Panel 1: World War I: From Imperial Persistence to Dissolution

Chair Prof. Oliver Schmitt (Institute for East European History/University of Vienna)

Erik-Jan Zürcher (Leiden University), “The Odd Man Out, or Why there was No Regime Change in the Ottoman Empire at the End of World War I”

Justin McCarthy (University of Louisville), “Military Causes for the Destruction of the Ottoman Empire”

Iris Rachamimovs (Tel Aviv University), “Internalizing Imperial Collapse: At what point in World War I did the A-H Empire appear moribund to its Citizens?”

18.00-18.15 Coffee Break

18.15-19.15 Keynote Address Isa Blumi (Georgia State University)
“The Occupation Effect: The Consequences of Occupation Regimes in the Balkan Territories of both the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, 1916-1925”

FRIDAY, January 17

09.00-10.30 Panel 2: Austria-Hungarian Ambiguities: Towards Collapse and its Perception

Chair Prof. Gerhard Botz (Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for Social Science History)

Tamara Scheer (Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for History and Society) “The Hope for Unification and the Fear of Disintegration: The Effect of Multilingualism in the Habsburg Army (1868-1918)”

Arnold Suppan (Austrian Academy of Sciences), "Was Austria-Hungary Condemned to Fail?"

Nancy M. Wingfield (Northern Illinois University), “Morals and Morale on the Home Front: The Decline of the Cisleithanian Austria”

10.30-10.45 Coffee Break

10.45-12.15 Panel 3: Balkan Wars and Paths of Radicalization

Chair Prof. Erik-Jan Zürcher (Leiden University)

Siegfried Mattl (Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for History and Society), “A Prelude of Doom: The Empire and the Balkan Wars”

Maurus Reinkowski (University of Basel), “Hapless Imperialists, Resentful Nationalists: Trajectories of Radicalization in the Late Ottoman Empire”

Ramazan Hakki Oztan (University of Utah), “Foreign Intervention and Young Turk Mindset: Christianity as Marker of Disloyalty?”

13.30-15.00 Panel 4: Nation State and Other Possibilities: Concepts and Transfers

Chair Prof. Justin McCarthy (University of Louisville)

Zafer Toprak (Bogazici University), “The Quest for Wilsonian Principles: The Demise of the Ottoman Empire and the Concept of a Nation State in Turkey”

Alp Yenen (University of Basel), “The Austro-Hungarian Model and Turkish-Arab Relations in Late-Ottoman History”

Maureen Healy (Lewis & Clark College), “Austrian Economic Visions in the Orient, 1900-1930”

15.00-15.15 Coffee Break

15.15-16.45 Panel 5: Ottoman Collapse and its Conflicting Trajectories

Chair Prof. Maurus Reinkowski (University of Basel)

Hakan Ozoglu (University of Central Florida), “Substituting the Empire: Views of U.S. Diplomats on the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire and Rise of the Turkish Republic”

Mehmet Arisan (TED University), “Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoglu and the Republican Manifestation of the Imperial Loss: The Emergence of an Elusive National Subjectivity”

Serpil Atamaz (TOBB University), “Conflicting Interpretations of the Past and Competing Visions of the Future: Early Republican Responses to the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire”

16.45-17.00 Coffee Break

17.00-18.30 Panel 6: Book Discussion

Hakan Yavuz and Isa Blumi (eds), War and Nationalism: The Balkan Wars 1912-1913 and Their Sociopolitical Implications (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2013)

Tamara Scheer, “Minimale Kosten, absolut kein Blut!”: Österreich-Ungarns Präsenz im Sandžak von Novipazar (1879-1908) (=Neue Forschungen zur ostmittel- und südosteuropäischen Geschichte 5, Frankfurt et al. 2013)

Hakan Yavuz (editor), Isa Blumi (editor), Erik-Jan Zürcher (contributor), Gül Tokay (contributor), Serpil Atamaz (contributor), Tamara Scheer (contributor)

18.30-19.00 Concluding Remarks

Hakan Yavuz (University of Utah), Tamara Scheer (Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for History and Society)