Middle East Studies

Making the Case for a Quantitative and Economic Approach to Ottoman Legal History

Thursday, April 3, 2014

5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute 

Bogac Ergene, 2014  Aga Khan Visiting Professor Lecture

This lecture considers the potential contributions of quantitative and economic approaches to Ottoman legal history. While historians have made some limited attempts to utilize quantitative techniques in order to explore Ottoman court records, almost nothing exists in Ottoman legal literature that resembles the "law and economics" scholarship that has emerged for Western settings. In this lecture, Ergene critically surveys the methodological discussions among Ottoman scholars pertaining to the applicability of quantitative techniques in legal research and also considers the applicability of insights associated with the "law and economics" scholarship to the Ottoman context.

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Boğaç Ergene is Associate Professor of History at University of Vermont and Aga Khan Visiting Professor in Islamic Humanities at Brown University (Spring 2014). He is the author of  Local Court, Provincial Society and Justice in the Ottoman Empire: Legal Practice and Dispute Resolution in Cankiri and Kastamonu (1652-1744). He also published articles in  International Journal of Middle East Studies,  Journal of Economic History,  History of Family,  Journal of Interdisciplinary History,  Islamic Law and Society,  Journal of Family History,  Continuity and Change,  Economic History Review, and others.