The current ethno-religious mosaic in the western Balkans cannot be methodologically analyzed and understood without the in-depth study of the peculiar millet system, which was the very bedrock of the Ottoman society and statehood. This monograph provides the readers with a comprehensive analysis on the establishment and main pillars of this social structure. Furthermore, one will find information on the main dynamics of adoption of Islam in the border area between Serbia and Montenegro which is presently called Sandžak and on the geopolitical wrangling that hastened the decay of the millets and introduced the nations in this volatile part of the Balkans. The impact of conflict and the resulting migrations on the ethno-religious landscape is also given considerable space in this volume. Lastly, the analysis describes the discrepancy between the policies adopted and enforced by the Sublime Porte and the lack on impact of those on the remote provinces and regions where the power of the Sultans was limited, or even in some cases only nominal. The author relies heavily on primary sources, such as contemporary travelogues, reports, and field studies. The chronological analysis is divided into three periods which correspond with the internal and external power and strength of the Ottoman Empire: period of stability, period of challenges, and a period of irreversible decay.
Aleksander Zdravkovski received his PhD from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
About the Author
Drawing on Serbo-, Croat-, French-, German-, and English-language primary sources, most of which were written in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Zdravkovski has produced a book that will pass the test of time He casts his net widely, throwing light on the early years of the Serbian state, offering a comprehensive account of the Ottoman system of governance and its peculiarities, explaining the shifting confessional balance in the region, and describing the economic hardships and political intricacies in the Sandžak after its conquest and partition between Serbia and Montenegro. Zdravkovski’s research is impressive and he tells the story well. Highly recommended.
In his new book, Aleksander Zdravkovski focuses on the often-neglected history of the Sandžak region of South-Western Serbia and North-Eastern Montenegro. Remaining generally free of serious conflict in the ex-Yugoslav wartime years, the Sandžak has been unjustly neglected by most historians. In this ground breaking volume, Zdravkovski opens up many interesting and complex lines of enquiry, particularly on the key late-Ottoman period. It will be an authoritative guide to the subject for academics, diplomats, and politicians.