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: The sanjak of Smederevo (later the Principality of Serbia), and the sanjak of Bosnia build the geographical framework. By focusing on a region that has long been the site of contested religious, imperial and national legacies, it seeks to understand the complexities of Ottoman and Habsburg imperial borderland dynamics from a comparative, yet integrated perspective. 

The project’s main scope is to account for the various forms of rule and 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 a local-provincial perspective, we focus on a variety of subjects such as taxation, conscription, public and social order, local revolts and rebellions, relations between the Habsburg and the Ottoman Empire, as well as everything transcending borders (merchants, soldiers, bandits, spies, peasants, animals, epidemics). We are combining in our research a variety of archival sources and relevant secondary literature 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