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Grant number: FT-249314-16

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Omar Youssef Cheta
Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-9800)

Empire, Law and Capitalism in the Modern Middle East

Archival work in Istanbul toward a book-length manuscript on law in the 19th-century Ottoman Empire.

My book project, "Empire, Law and Capitalism in the Modern Middle East," is an original study of the legal and economic foundations of the contemporary Middle East. It locates the inception of novel interpretations of modern law and capitalism in the history of the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire. Through tracing government decision-making processes, intellectual debates and professional practices in Istanbul, the imperial capital, and Cairo, the Empire's largest provincial capital, I show how a common economic and legal culture materialized in the Middle East. The project aims to explicate the genealogy of contemporary economic and legal practices, and ideas, especially in relation to the period preceding formal European colonization. Ultimately, it helps us understand the logic of contemporary legal and economic regimes, and accordingly, how to engage with them in informed and effective ways.

Project fields:
Economic History; Legal History; Near and Middle Eastern History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016