People’s rights, social movements and political change
Research in history and political science on political violence, social movements and people’s rights have greatly developed at the CETOBaC over the past decade. Various kinds of research come into dialogue around the issue of legal status and social practice, revealing notions of subjectivity, subjection, integration, exclusion or identification. These works and notions aim to understand the specificity of the human being when facing bureaucracy, religious institutions, and fraternal communities.
Current publications and ongoing research
One central aspect of this topic is the case of violence during war or military occupation. Along these lines, Nikos Sigalas is working on a social history of violence towards the Christian Orthodox civilian population in the Greek-speaking world, and Cloé Drieu is studying both Russian imperial Turkestan and the neglected Caucasian front during World War 1 (a book co-directed with Claire Mouradian and published by the CNRS). Meanwhile, Xavier Bougarel is preparing two books on the social history of Yugoslav partisans and on historiographical disputes concerning World War II in South-Eastern Europe. Various researchers are working on more recent conflicts: Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989 (Cloé Drieu); post-revolutionary Iran’s strategy and foreign and defense policies (Wendy Ramadan).
Legal definitions of violence — and thus of the person, or vice versa — are a key element in our understanding of imperial systems. In this regard, the ottoman case is not longer to be proven. Benjamin Lellouch addresses the issue in his research on the massacres of war prisoners in the Ottoman realm in the 15th to the 17th centuries. Hayri Gökşin Özkoray studies the different regimes of bondage in the 15th to 17th centuries, and Elisabetta Borromeo has edited the lectures of Gilles Veinstein on the ‘Sultan’s slaves’, given at the Collège de France between 2009 and 2011. For the later period, Ottoman historians research the ‘constitutionalizing’ of the Empire in the 19th century: Erdal Kaynar studies how thinkers of equality and property articulated notions of society and individual; Barış Zeren studies the practices of incorporation and exclusion in citizenship, which also recalls Elif Becan’s work on the categorization of foreigners by the Turkish State (1923-1964). Élise Massicard continues her research on the identification of people by ‘neighborhood mayors’ in Turkey. Others still approach the individual as a spiritual being, sometimes intangible: Nicolas Vatin thus works on the dreams of Hayre-d-dîn, patron saint of Ottoman seamen, Özgür Türesay (with Alexandre Toumarkine and Till Luge) on spiritist movements in the Ottoman empire, Benoît Fliche on votive practices, dreams and fortune telling in contemporary Turkey.
This issue also brings in various themes that are more in the realm of political sociology: public institutions (Élise Massicard), administrative territories (Lucie Drechselová), armed forces (Sümbül Kaya), associations (Julien Boucly), economic elites (Gabriela Côrte-Réal Pinto), the media field (Pelin Ünsal). For Nathalie Clayer, the study of the formation of the Albanian state helps her revisit the intersection between religious and school-related issues, while Falma Fshazi analyses Albanian youth organizations in the interwar period and Markenc Lorenci on the communist party and other political and social movements in between 1941 and 1944.
Ongoing collective projects
The idea of studying a situation of military occupation is also central to the collective project « Danse sur le volcan : Istanbul occupée (1918-1923) » (Dance over the volcano: occupied Istanbul (1918-1923)), carried by Frédéric Hitzel and Timour Muhidine, involving several institutions (Inalco, Ifea, Orient-Institut) and making use of various primary sources (literature, memoirs, photography, artworks…). Catherine Pinguet is attempting to make an inventory of the private collection of Pierre de Gigord. Renaud Dorlhiac, in collaboration with the French schools in Athens and Rome (EFA, EFR), questions the impact of civil and military occupations on the construction of local identities on the Eastern Front. Some research also focuses on World War 2: Xavier Bougarel and Hannes Grandits (Humboldt University) are coordinating the research project ‘Bread & Horses’ (Yougoslavia, Greece, Albania), which explores the circulation of goods, people and ideas in times of war, beyond national boundaries and ideological conflicts, in which Nathalie Clayer, Fabio Giomi, Markenc Lorenci and Redi Halimi are taking part.
The dynamics of international transfers, interactions between public and private actors, politicians and experts in policymaking are at the core of the research program Propol (a PSL Project), coordinated by Benjamin Gourisse and Işıl Erdinç, which gather different researchers in sociology and political science.
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