Ahmet Mirac Sönmez

Title: 'One State Modernization Attempt in the 19th Century Ottoman Empire: Was Cameralism Introduced by Mehmet Sadık Rifat Pasha?'

Supervisor: Professor Dr. Wolfgang Drechsler

Opponent: Dr. Ringa Raudla, Senior Research Fellow

Defense: 6 June 2013


Abstract: In the context of the Ottoman modernization process, i.e. the emergence of civil society, secularization and rational bureaucracy, some top-down attempts were realized without asking people’s consent. We witness various modernization efforts, which began with military issues and continued with the administrative, economic, judicial and social systems in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, reaching a peak in the radical reformative acts of Atatürk in the 1920s and 1930s, which resulted in the foundation of modern Turkish Republic. And in this work, I will focus on some specific ideas of an Ottoman Pasha who spent some of his years at the end of the 1830s as the Ottoman ambassador to Vienna. My main objective is exploring the probability whether this Pasha’s writings inculcated Ottoman state policy with cameralistic ideas. While debates on the possible influences of Western-based liberalism and absolutism on the Ottoman transformation process still maintain their importance, the relation with cameralism remains intact in scholarly research efforts. Therefore I tried to shed light on this obscure relation through the ideas of this notable Ottoman Pasha who had great potential to contribute to Ottoman policies during the beginning of the Tanzimat period.

Keywords: Cameralism, Mehmet Sadık Rifat Pasha, Ottoman Empire, Austrian Empire, Tanzimat.