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Legitimizing the Order

The Ottoman Rhetoric of State Power


Hakan T. Karateke and Maurus Reinkowski

A dynasty that ruled for more than six centuries certainly developed many strategies to confront “legitimacy crises” and undertook various endeavors to legitimize their rule.
After the introduction that establishes a theoretical framework for examining the Ottoman state’s legitimacy, the present volume deploys into three sections. “The Well-Founded Order” deals with the question of how the Ottomans imagined the order of their polity and how they tried to live up to this self-representation.
“Religiosity and Orthodoxy” turns to the question of religiosity and orthodoxy as defined by Ottoman political theory and how these concepts related to the issue of legitimacy. The last section discusses how the Ottoman notions of legitimacy were exposed to criticism, discussion or simply to transformations in situations of crisis, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The ‘Alawī Shaykhs of Religion

A Brief Introduction

Leon T. Goldsmith

Gaining insight into the past, present and potential future roles and functions of the ‘Alawī sect’s religious leadership is problematic amidst the ongoing Syrian conflict. The purpose of this short introduction is to shed some light on the subject of ‘Alawī religious leadership and highlight the historical importance of ‘Alawī religious shaykhs to the preservation of their community. The study applied an inductive, exploratory and qualitative approach based on the reliable secondary literature, field observation and interviews with some key personalities from within the sect. The main discovery highlighted in the article is that the traditional influence and capacity of ‘Alawī religious leaders to guide and preserve the community has been drastically impaired since the 1980s. This became a crucial factor in the dilemma ‘Alawīs faced at the onset of the Syrian crisis in 2011. This study hopes to contribute to the question of ‘Alawī religious and communal identity in the twenty-first century, a subject of importance to efforts to resolve the Syria crisis.


Reading Popular Music in the Arab Region and in the Diaspora

Nisrine Mansour and Tarik Sabry