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Ottoman Civil Officialdom

Ottoman Civil Officialdom: A Social History

Copyright Date: 1989
Pages: 424
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  • Book Info
    Ottoman Civil Officialdom
    Book Description:

    In this sequel to his highly acclaimed Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire, Carter Findley shifts focus from the organizational aspects of administrative reform and development to the officials themselves. A study in social history and its cultural and economic ramifications, Findley's new book critically reassesses Ottoman accomplishments and failures in turning an archaic scribal corps into an effective civil service.

    Combining scrutiny of well-documented individuals with analyses of large groups of officials, Findley considers how much the development of civil officialdom benefited Ottoman efforts to revitalize the state and protect its interests in an increasingly competitive world. Did reformers' initiatives in elite formation significantly broaden the social bases of officialdom and its capacity to represent Ottoman society? Did prospective officials profit from educational reform so as to achieve higher levels of qualification over the generations? How did cultural tensions of the reform era affect civil officials? To what extent did impersonal procedure and new ideas of professionalism supplant patronage and old scribal role concepts? How well did the state succeed in rewarding good service and protecting its officials against shifting economic conditions? The answers to such questions illuminate major issues of social integration and cultural change and clarify links between economic conditions and changing forms of political activism.

    Originally published in 1989.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6011-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. List of Figures
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xxii)
    (pp. xxiii-2)
  9. CHAPTER I Introduction
    (pp. 3-39)

    Any study of civil officials must come to terms with the variety of meanings and feelings associated with the idea of bureaucracy. Definitions of the term have varied so widely that some have little in common with one another. Some analysts have understood bureaucracy as a system of rule, analogous to monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy. Others have given the word a more limited scope, to refer to a way of organizing government administration. Early on, the term “bureaucracy” acquired a twofold application, both to a pattern of administrative organization, and to the people who worked in such organizations. The term...

  10. CHAPTER II The Scribal Service on the Eve of Reform
    (pp. 40-86)

    While available sources on the scribal service of the late eighteenth century are not nearly so voluminous as those on the civil service that evolved out of it over the next century, they permit reconstruction of a synthesized view covering most of the topics that we shall analyze, in greater detail, for the later period. This chapter will present such a view, including discussion of the social origins of the officials, education and intellectual life, career patterns, and compensation. In the rest of the book, these subjects will become the themes of a series of chapters on the later period....

  11. CHAPTER III Social Origins of the Civil Officials
    (pp. 87-130)

    Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar’s novel,The Chronometric Institute (Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü),includes a memorable portrayal of an old mansion in Istanbul. With its seemingly endless facade, this was home in the time of Abd ül-Hamid II (1876–1909) to Abd ül-Selâm Bey, kinsman of the bey of Tunis and member of the Ottoman Council of State(Şura-yi Deylet).The house’s thirty-seven residents formed a microcosm of Muslim Ottoman society. Crowded into the house so that a visitor would return home confused and exhausted from so many encounters were Abd ül-Selâm Bey’s wives, children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws’ in-laws, and...

  12. CHAPTER IV Education
    (pp. 131-173)

    As the discussion of cultural dualism in chapter 1 has indicated, cultural change stands as a major issue in the transformation from scribal service to civil officialdom. To develop an understanding of this issue, this chapter will survey the course of educational reform during the reform era and analyze the educational records of the Foreign Ministry staff.¹ The next chapter will continue the analysis by contrasting contending cultural orientations of the period as embodied in representative individuals. These discussions will yield insights into both the social impact of educational reform, and the tensions that cultural dualism produced.

    In introducing the...

  13. CHAPTER V Intellectual Orientations
    (pp. 174-210)

    In introducing cultural dualism in chapter 1, we showed how it signified on one level the introduction of western ideas, and on a deeper level a phase of imbalance among the four major “strands”—the religious studies, mysticism, the philosophical-scientific tradition, and the worldly literary culture—woven together over the centuries to make up the Islamic learned culture. The imbalance arose from the fact that while the other domains of the learned culture were in disarray, the literary, oradab,tradition essentially extended the scope of its worldliness to the West, as its chief exponents, the scribal officials and their...

  14. CHAPTER VI Career Patterns: Office Environment, Procedure, Sense of Professionalism
    (pp. 211-253)

    As Ottoman civil officials of the Hamidian and Young Turk periods, with their divergent cultural orientations, moved beyond their educations to begin their careers, they plunged into a complex of social realities much different from those known to scribes of the preceding century. Earlier chapters have already mentioned some of the factors that had changed service conditions: reassertion of the central government, administrative growth and acquisition of new functions, changing concepts of egalitarianism, the attempt to create a salary system, and the development of the formal personnel policy of civil officialdom. In this chapter and the next, we shall consider...

  15. CHAPTER VII Career Patterns: Patronage and Promotion
    (pp. 254-292)

    While career patterns and lines of promotion in the scribal service seem comparatively simple to account for, given the social homogeneity that emerges from available sources, civil official careers of the Hamidian or Young Turk periods are harder to summarize for a number of reasons. One consists of the increased differentiation that cultural change and broader recruitment introduced into the social fabric of officialdom. The growth in the number of agencies also exerted its effect, compounded by gaps in the development of personnel policy. For example, Ottoman personnel regulations never fully classified the positions in all major departments, despite efforts...

  16. CHAPTER VIII Salaries and Living Standards
    (pp. 293-333)

    A government’s ability to get effective service from its officials depends on its setting standards, rewarding officials who fulfill them, punishing those who violate them, and maintaining a clear difference between reward and punishment. The Ottoman Empire had had difficulty in these endeavors for centuries. So it remained in the reform era, despite significant efforts to change. Together with other sources, official personnel records prove uniquely valuable for study of these problems. The analysis falls under three headings: problems of the salary system, reward and punishment (a topic that leads back to the issue of egalitarianism), and official living standards....

  17. CHAPTER IX Conclusion: A Gallery of Portraits in Retrospect
    (pp. 334-342)

    As noted at the beginning of chapter 1, almost the only studies of administration that arouse a popular response are ones that satirize its negative dimensions. The story of Ottoman administration provides much material for such presentation. Yet studying the social history of Ottoman civil officials also inspires empathy with them, as well as appreciation for the efforts that many of them made to improve administration. Perhaps a retrospective look, guided by this spirit of empathy, at some of the groups and individuals portrayed in preceding chapters will provide the best way to arrive at a judicious assessment of the...

  18. APPENDIX A The Foreign Ministry Personnel Records: Sources, Methods, and Problems of Analysis
    (pp. 343-361)
  19. APPENDIX B The Commodity Price Average: Sources and Methods of Analysis
    (pp. 362-370)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 371-382)
  21. Index
    (pp. 383-399)