Despite a series of paradigmatic shifts in the Ottoman historiography, the nationalist teleology and state-centered analyses preserve their hegemonic power to explain the dynamics of political conflicts in the Ottoman provinces during the long-nineteenth century. These tendencies brought about an ignorance to the varieties in the forms and patterns of ... (Show more)
Despite a series of paradigmatic shifts in the Ottoman historiography, the nationalist teleology and state-centered analyses preserve their hegemonic power to explain the dynamics of political conflicts in the Ottoman provinces during the long-nineteenth century. These tendencies brought about an ignorance to the varieties in the forms and patterns of the political conflicts and differences in the strategies and interests of the multiple actors taking part in those conflicts. As an important example to this fallacy, the Albanian League of Prizren (Besëlidhja e Prizrenit) is considered as the beginning of Albanian nationalist movement or awakening either against the Balkan irredentism or for the national self-determination and separation from the Ottoman Empire. In the face of this problem, this historical research will offer an alternative theoretical framework to analyze the characteristics of the League without invoking “the nation” and “the State” as a category of analysis. Building on the historical-materialist and strategic-relational analysis of the nationness and state-formation as a process, the research will focus on the diversity and complexity of the political conflicts depended upon a complex set of boundary conditions and strategies of different tribal and class groups in the Albanian provinces towards the regime. More specifically, this research will scrutinize the ways in which the strategies of Hamidian regime and international-geopolitical competition during the Berlin Treaty affected the different interests, strategies, positions, and discourses of different actors in the Albanian League of Prizren.
The research will propose that a proper understanding of the divergent dynamics of political conflicts and different responses in the Albanian frontiers which articulated in the League of Prizren requires focusing on the dynamic interplay between social-property relations, state-formation, international geo-political competition, and nationalization. To this end, by using the ministerial and local reports/correspondences in the Ottoman archives and contemporary public sources during the League of Prizren, the research will reveal the divergent pro-regime and anti-regime strategies of different strategical groups within the League in their relation to the Hamidian regime policies towards the region and the opportunity structures provided by the international context of the Berlin Treaty after the Russo-Ottoman War (1877-1878). Therefore, the world-historical and strategical-relational analysis presented in this study will provide a constructive criticism of the dominant state-centered and nationalist paradigms prevalent in the Ottoman historiography.
Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Albanian provinces, the League of Prizren, frontiers, political conflicts, nationalization (Show less)