Formation of the Modern State

The Ottoman Empire, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries

By Rifa'at 'Ali Abou-El-Haj

Series: SUNY series in the Social and Economic History of the Middle East
Paperback : 9780791408940, 176 pages, February 1992
Hardcover : 9780791408933, 176 pages, February 1992

Alternative formats available from:


This book contributes to Ottoman history and modern Middle East studies with theoretical implications beyond both. The author challenges the current paradigm of societal decline as inadequate for understanding the Ottoman society and state during this period, and he proposes our examining the signs of modernity and vitality which made the middle centuries of Ottoman rule entirely comparable with its European and Asian counterparts.

Rifa'at 'Ali Abou-El-Haj is Professor of Modern European and Near Eastern History at California State University, Long Beach. He is the author of The Rebellion of 1703 and the Structure of Ottoman Politics, and he is co-author of The Ottoman Urban Environment.


"This work will raise hackles, generate debate, make people think hard. The work starts with a succinct statement of a series of historiographic dilemmas which afflict Ottoman scholarship. It proceeds with often lucid and sometimes inspired proposals for analytical avenues aimed at resolving those dilemmas. " -- Palmira Brummett, University of Tennessee

"This book presents a broad scheme for studying the Middle East. It has the virtue of stimulating debate and controversy in the field, and will be essential reading for those interested in bringing the field of Ottoman history into the current historical writing on state and society in various regions of the world. " -- Dina Rizk Khoury, Georgetown University