General Information

This project explores and analyzes the political culture and governance as well as the entangled imperial legacies in the Ottoman-Habsburg borderlands during the nineteenth century. By focusing on a region that has long been the site of contested religious, imperial and national legacies during a period framed by competing projects of imperial reform,  and nation-building, it seeks to understand the complexities of Ottoman imperial borderland dynamics from a comparative, yet integrated perspective. 

The project’s main scope is to account for the various forms of governance that took place in the Habsburg-Ottoman-Serbian contexts throughout the nineteenth century, as well as for the various kinds of state-subject relations that evolved thereby. By employing both a comparative and a local-provincial perspective, we focus on a variety of subjects such as taxation, social order and opposition, health and disease, relations between Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, as well as everything what transcended borders, from humans (bandits, soldiers) to non-humans (animals -related also to agricultural disputes-, books, newspapers etc.). We are combining in our research a variety of archival sources written in Ottoman, Serbian/Bosnian, German, English, and French languages.


Michael Portmann Institute for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research / International History
Hollandstrasse 11-13/1st floor
1020 Vienna