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Islamic Law and Empire in Ottoman Cairo$
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James E. Baldwin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474403092

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403092.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Conclusion: Ottoman Cairo’s legal system and grand narratives

Conclusion: Ottoman Cairo’s legal system and grand narratives

(p.136) Conclusion: Ottoman Cairo’s legal system and grand narratives
Islamic Law and Empire in Ottoman Cairo

James E. Baldwin

Edinburgh University Press

The conclusion reflects on the implications of the book’s findings for longer-term narratives of Islamic legal history and Ottoman history. Drawing on recent studies of the medieval period and the nineteenth century, the chapter sketches a revised grand narrative of Islamic legal history in which political and military officials play a much more prominent role, and the modernizing reforms of the nineteenth century build on indigenous precedents as well as western influences. The conclusion also refines the prevailing model of decentralization in the historiography of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Ottoman Empire. Although the imperial government often found itself unable to impose its will on powerful provincial elites, provincial subjects continued to demand the intervention of imperial institutions, in particular legal institutions, into their affairs. In many ways, Istanbul’s authority in Egypt was invited, rather than imposed.

Keywords:   Islamic legal historiography, Ottoman historiography, Medieval Islamic history, Nineteenth-century legal reforms, Westernization, Center-province relations, Decentralization

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