Coping with "the Riff-raff and Mob": Representations of Order and Disorder in the Patrona Halil Rebellion (1730)

Konrad, Felix. (2014) Coping with "the Riff-raff and Mob": Representations of Order and Disorder in the Patrona Halil Rebellion (1730). Die Welt des Islams, 54 (3–4). pp. 363-398.

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In 1730, the so-called ‘Patrona Halil rebellion’ resulted in the abdication of Sultan Ahmed III (r. 1703–1730) and in the execution of his long-serving Grand Vizier Nevshehirli Damad Ibrahim Pasha (r. 1718–1730). This article addresses the question of how contemporary Ottoman chroniclers came to terms with this unusual situation of political and social tension and, in particular, how they coped with lower-strata individuals and groups involved in the rebellion. It is argued that the chroniclers had considerable problems in explaining that lower-strata people whom they perceived as “the riff-raff and mob” possessed an agency of their own, even if they might be a useful instrument in intra-elite quarrels. Despite nuances of judgement, the chroniclers represent the lower strata in a highly negative fashion by rendering their political activities as unruly violations of norms. The chroniclers employed discoursive strategies based on the elite concepts of morality, purity, honour and order, which they used both, for delegitimising the social and political behaviour of the urban lower strata, and for criticising Ibrahim Pasha and his government. When the new regime of Mahmud I (r. 1730–1754) resorted to violence in order suppress the rebels, this was unanimously welcomed by the chroniclers as the re-establishment of order. Thus, their representations of the rebellion clearly reaffirm elite notions of social and political order.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Nahost-Studien > Islamwissenschaft (Reinkowski)
UniBasel Contributors:Konrad, Felix
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 15:17
Deposited On:15 Nov 2021 15:17

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