International Law for the Weak State: The Case of the Ottoman Empire in the Nineteenth Century

February 27, 2017 -
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Mostafa Minawi (Cornell)
Boyd Seminar Room

Book talk, Mostafa Minawi (Cornell University) "The Ottoman Scramble for Africa"Professor Minawi will explore the role that the philosophy behind 19th-century notions of international law played in maintaining and expanding an exclusively European colonial possession in Africa and Asia. Using the Ottoman Empire's participation in the Conference in Berlin (1884-85) as a case study, he will argue that Istanbul understood how positivist international law gave the upper hand to the Great Powers, but continued to be deeply invested in the maintaining its place at the table of negotiations with other imperial powers, not just to claim the "right" to new territories in central Africa, but also in order to maintain a legal right to sovereignty within the borders of the Ottoman Empire.

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  • Africa Initiative
  • Duke University Middle East Studies Center