Histories of constitutionalism in the Ottoman and Qajar Empires

Histories of constitutionalism in the Ottoman and Qajar Empires

Please take note that this international symposium will take place in 2 different locations.

15 January at the Orient-Institut Istanbul
16-17 January at IFEA upon registration

Denis Hermann (CNRS – IFEA, Istanbul), Erdal Kaynar (University of Strasbourg)
in collaboration with Raoul Motika (Orient-Institut Istanbul)
With the support of the Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes, the Orient-Institut Istanbul, the Institut Français de Recherche en Iran, and Mondes Iranien et Indien.

Communications will be delivered in English

Interest in the history of constitutionalism has grown sharply in recent years. The wider region of the Balkans and the Near and Middle East is not an exception to this case.
While current political developments worldwide have sparked new attention to the history of parliamentary systems and constitutionalist movements, research has already for the last decades taken an interest in the historic experience of constitutionalism in this area. Studies on the Near and Middle East, in particular, move away from repetitive debates on prospects of democracy in Muslim countries to underline the importance of constitutionalism in the history of the region. After all, the Iranian and Ottoman revolutions in 1906 and 1908 respectively put most parts of the Near and Middle East at least nominally under parliamentary rule. These revolutions were themselves part of a global wave of constitutionalist revolutions which affected one-quarter of the entire world population at the beginning of the 20th century. But apart from this global conjuncture, different regional contexts also played a decisive role in the development of constitutionalism. The constitutionalist experience fed from different yet interconnected regional traditions. The conference aims to address these intraregional exchanges of constitutionalism in the Qajar and Ottoman Empires in the period of roughly 1840 to 1911.


Date de l'événement 16/01/2020 9:00 am
Date de fin 17/01/2020 5:00 pm
Places 60
Inscrit.e.s 60
Places disponibles 0
Date limite d'inscription 15/01/2020 11:55 am


Wednesday, 15 January 2020 / 7:00 PM

Arrival @ Orient-Institut Istanbul

Susam Sokak no. 16
34425 Cihangir – Istanbul

7:00 - 10:00 PM

Welcoming of participants, keynote lecture and reception

Christoph Herzog (Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg, Department of Turcology)
Mashrutiyyat and Modernity. A Historiographical Predicament

Thursday, 16 January 2020 / 9:00 AM

Welcoming of participants @ IFEA

Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes, Istanbul
Nur-i Ziya Sokak no: 10
34433 Beyoğlu – Istanbul

9:15 AM – 01:00 PM

Morning session | Conceptualising Constitutionalism: (Re-)Imagining Politics

Chair: Christoph Herzog

Ioannis Zelepos (Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich)
Constitutionalism in 19th Century Southeast Europe. Serbia and Greece as Case Studies 
Erdal Kaynar (University of Strasbourg)
Arguing for Popular Sovereignty in a Monarchy: The Rise of a Constitutionalist Language in the Ottoman Empire
Anne-Laure Dupont (Sorbonne University, Paris)
Can Non-Muslims Participate in the Shūrā? The Representation of Religious Minorities in the First Parliaments of Islamic Countries (Tunisia, Ottoman Empire, Iran)
Nader Sohrabi (Free University of Berlin – University of Leipzig)
The Popular Committees and What Made the Iranian Constitutionalism Unique

2:30 - 5:30 PM

Afternoon session | Opposing Constitutionalism: Anti-Constitutionalist Thought and Accommodation

Chair: Tanya Lawrence

Yakoob Ahmed (Istanbul University)
The Ottoman Ulema in Opposition to the Ottoman Constitutional Process. Dialectic and Discursive Challenges Between the ‘Tradition’ and the ‘Modern’
Alisa Shablovskaia (Sciences Po' Paris – Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3)
Constitutionalism and the Political Ethos of the Last Qajars
Denis Hermann (IFEA – CNRS)
Debating the Diversity of Anti-consultative and Anti-Constitutionalist Arguments of the Iranian Shi’i Ulemas:  A Study of the Work of Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Najafi Marandi

Friday, 17 January 2020 / 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Morning session | Constructing Constitutionalism: Actors and Networks

Chair: Anne-Laure Dupont

Varak Ketsemanian (Princeton University)
The Armenian Order in the Late Ottoman Empire: Provincial Constitutionalism and a Framework for Analysis
Tanya Lawrence (University of St Andrews)
Opposition in Exile: The Iranian Émigré Community of the Late Ottoman Empire 
Zaur Gasimov (University of Bonn)
The Iranian Constitution in the Mirror of the Russian Azerbaijani Press
Goodarz Rashtiani (Tehran University)
Tbilisi and the Fabric of the Iranian Constitutional Movement

2:30 - 5:30 PM

Afternoon session | Enacting Constitutionalism: The Challenge of Constitutional Rule

Chair: Nader Sohrabi

Aylin Koçunyan (Bilgi University, Istanbul)
Negotiating the Final Draft of the 1876 Ottoman Constitution
Mira Xenia Schwerda (Harvard University)
Crafting the Image of Constitutionalism: A Close Reading of the “Bast” at the British Legation
Barış Zeren (Işık University, Istanbul)
Constitutionalism in Practice: Between Parliamentarianism and Exceptionality (1908–1912)


Denis Hermann


Erdal Kaynar

Université de Strasbourg

Raoul Motika

Orient-Institut Istanbul


Sorry, the event is now full and we could not accept more registration

Plan de localisation

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