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From Temür to Selim : trajectories of Turko-Mongol state formation in Islamic West-Asia’s long fifteenth century

Book Contribution - Chapter

This chapter offers an historical contextualization for the volume’s specific case studies in parts two and three. It presents a new introductory interpretation of the entanglement and particularities of the elites, the institutions and practices, and the transformations that, since the days of Temür (r. 1370-1405), left their marks on the rough political landscapes of Muslim West-Asia. Emphasizing the segmented nature of Turko-Mongol politics and socio-economic organization it describes ongoing dynamics of expansion, fragmentation, and circulation and recurrent attempts at Ottoman, ‘Mamluk’, Timurid and Turkmen political stabilization and administrative penetration. It also argues that widely used binaries, such as those of ‘Turks’ and ‘Tadjiks’, ‘elites’ (khāṣṣa) and ‘commoners’ (ʿāmma), or commanders and administrators, pertained to claims and explanations that contributed to the many appearances of social order across West-Asia, amidst those highly complex Ottoman, Timurid, Turkmen and Syro-Egyptian realities of segmentation, fragmentation, and competitive empowerment.
Book: Trajectories of state formation across fifteenth-century Islamic West-Asia : Eurasian parallels, connections and divergences
Series: Rulers & Elites. Comparative Studies in Governance
Pages: 27 - 87
Publication year:2020