Bringing the Ottoman Order Back into International Relations: A Distinct International Order or Part of an Islamic International Society?


Long neglected in international relations (IRs), the Ottoman Empire is now getting the attention it deserves. Leaving its "Westphalian straitjacket" behind, the discipline has finally taken a keen interest in non-Western and historical cases. However, the discipline has long focused disproportionately on the Chinese tributary system and produced a large body of literature about it. Spruyt's The World Imagined presents two crucial innovations. The book, on the one hand, introduces the "Islamic international society" into the mainstream, and on the other hand, balances the dominance of the Chinese tributary system in the historical IR subfield. When Spruyt's book is read together with Mikhail's God's Shadowand White's Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean, it becomes clear that the Ottoman Empire should be treated as a distinct international order. By including another book in the debate (Casale's The Ottoman Age of Exploration), this study aims to problematize "Islamic international society" and introduce the Ottoman Empire as a distinct international order.


Key Words: the Ottoman Empire, international orders, Palabras clave, el imperio otomano, órdenes internacionales, Mots clés, l'empire ottoman, ordres internationaux 


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