Imperial encounters with multiculturalism and ethnic diversity characterized the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires as well as the colonies that were ruled by European empires. Of all these colonial and imperial encounters, perhaps the Ottoman Empire was uniquely challenged to consider and implement systems of resettlement, reterritorialization, and development in ordered to address, organize, and manage the mass influx of peoples from its border regions into the heartland of its southern provinces.
In this Sussex Development Lecture Dawn Chatty addressed how today’s system of humanitarian responses to displacement and development in Middle East might have roots and precedents, but also ruptures with its Ottoman past. This post-imperial and post-colonial heritage might be useful to disentangle contemporary state attitudes and linkages to humanitarianism and development dynamics.
Dawn Chatty, Emerita Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration, Oxford University