An Empire of Frontiers: Between Migrant and State in the Late Ottoman Empire, 1856-1914
UC Los Angeles
This dissertation focuses on the intersection among empire, migration, colonization, and the global economy. It investigates the centralizing and expansionist agenda of the late Ottoman Empire in Libya, more specifically, northern Cyrenaica, from 1856 until the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-1912. By examining the roles of migrants-turned-settlers, this dissertation contends that migrants took positions of power and played a significant role in framing political decisions that reshaped the North African frontier of the Ottoman Empire during its last decades. It demonstrates how migrants-turned-settlers and the Ottoman state transformed Ottoman Libya into a lucrative space for centralization, security, and agricultural development—a centralizing and civilizing mission that helped establish an Ottoman foothold in North Africa.