The Monarchical Order - Internationalization, Vassal Kings, and Legitimate Independence in Afro-Eurasia, 1820s-1930s
Lecture by Adam Mestyan (2018-2019 Paris IAS fellow) within the framework of the CETOBaC's monthly meetings
In the first part of this talk I present a conceptual framework (connecting new imperial history and International Relations theory) about how smaller monarchies embody a form of imperial domination between the 1820s and the 1930s. European empire-states integrated polities into the capitalist world order typically through local monarchical governments in this period. I conceptualize the relationship of smaller monarchies to European empires as oscillating between two ideal poles: outside of Europe, empires used the vassal dimension of local ruler traditions to dominate polities in quasi-sovereign situations. Within Europe, national monarchies embodied what I call “legitimate independence.” Collectively, the range of polities operating in and between these modes of managing sovereignty during this period constitute what I refer to as the “monarchical order.” In the second half of this seminar, I bring the concrete example of the late Ottoman Empire in competition with European Christian empires. Based on the example of North African and Arabian provinces (and some Eastern European ones) I argue that the Tanzimat-period included also a composite dimension of the Ottoman Empire. This composite dimension can be seen in what I call "princely regions" (the beylik of Tunis, the khedivate of Egypt, the emirate of Mecca, etc). The goal is to understand the monarchical effects of inter-imperial competition which leads to the European-dominated new Arab national monarchies in the interwar period.