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French Revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire

09. Mär. 2017

Pascal Firges, Associate Member of the Cluster "Asia and Europe", published a new book on French revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire. The book investigates the emergence and development of French revolutionary political culture and its global impacts. It is based on Firges' dissertation project, which was supervised by Cluster member Prof. Thomas Maissen.

The monograph “French Revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire: Diplomacy, Political Culture, and the Limiting of Universal Revolution, 1792–1798” examines the political and cultural impact of the French Revolution on Franco-Ottoman relations, as well as on the French communities of the Ottoman Empire. The modern interpretation of revolutionary ideological expansionism is influenced by the propaganda decree of 19 November 1792 which promised 'fraternity and help to all peoples who wish to recover their liberty'.

However, French revolutionaries in the Ottoman Empire exhibited neither a 'crusading mentality' nor a heightened readiness to use force in order to achieve ideological goals. Instead, as this volume shows, revolutionary policies were applied in an extremely circumspect fashion. The focus on the effects of the French regime change outside of France offers valuable new insights into the revolutionary process itself, which will revise common assumptions about French revolutionary diplomacy.

In addition, Pascal Firges takes a close look at the establishment of the new political culture of the French Revolution within the transcultural context of the French expatriate communities of the Ottoman Empire. This serves as a thought-provoking point of comparison for the emergence and development of French revolutionary political culture.

The book was published by Oxford University Press in January 2017. It is a result of Firges' dissertation project „Istanbul during the French Revolution. Regime Change in a Transcultural Context”, which was supervised by project A7 coordinator and Cluster member Prof. Thomas Maissen.

Pascal Firges, is Associate Member of the Cluster and former project member of the project A7 “Ottoman Empire - Dynamic Asymmetries in Transcultural Flows at the Intersection of Asia and Europe: The Case of the Early Modern Ottoman Empire” at the Cluster "Asia and Europe". Currently, he is postdoctoral research fellow at the German Historical Institute in Paris. He studied History and Philosophy in Heidelberg, Paris, and Cambridge and holds a PhD in history from Heidelberg University.

Please find further information on the book here.


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