This book focuses on the historical sociology of the Turkish state. It seeks to compare the development of the Ottoman/Turkish state with similar processes of large-scale historical change in Europe identified by Michael Mann in "The Sources of Social Power." In this, Mann developed an historical model based on four overlapping power networks (political, ideological, economic and military). Having spent the first chapter giving an account of Mann's analysis, the text relates each of these networks to developmental patterns apparent in Turkey before concluding with an explanation of the main areas of continuity and change and a critical consideration of Mann's rubric.
In this way, the book analyses the process of state-building which has occurred in Turkey from the changes developed during the Ottoman Empire to the organization of the modern-day government. It focuses on issues concerning the state's relationship with civil society, particularly those that arise from the interaction between the Turkish majority and non-Turkish minorities. It traces the contours of Turkey's 'modernization' with the intention of formulating a fresh way to approach state development in country on the global economic periphery, particularly those attempting to effect closer ties with Northern markets. It also highlights matters of social changes pertinent to states grappling with issues relating to political Islam, minority identities and irredentist dissent.
"This is an impressive book that succeeds admirably on two equally different fronts. It represents the first systematic application of Michael Mann's model of the sources of social power to a non-Western European case. In doing so it expands and enriches this influential mode of inquiry. Equally important is the skill with which Jacoby uses Mann's framework to offer a sweeping interpretation of the Ottoman and Turkish Republican histories and explains the Turkish military's political power in contemporary Turkey. Jacoby's work is an excellent testament to the considerable benefits both Turkish studies and macro-historical sociology would derive from an informed conversation between these two fields of study.
-Resat Kasaba, University of Washington
"Tim Jacoby shows convincingly that macro-sociology as practiced by Michael Mann can be used to illuminate concrete historical processes, in this case the emergence and development of the modern Turkish state. But he also argues that attending to the peculiarities of Ottoman history requires the refinement of Mann's categories. This interplay between theory and history helps to make his book a tour de force.."
-Professor Alex Callinicos, Head of the Politics Department, University of York