What are you looking for?

Houssine Alloul

Houssine Alloul

NIAS fellow

Project title

Ottoman Envoys to Europe: Negotiating Difference in the Diplomatic World, 1832-1914

Project description

While the presence of Ottoman diplomats in Europe was self-evident to their Western contemporaries, they are conspicuous today by their absence in the historical literature on modern European diplomacy. This is remarkable as, for nearly a century between 1832 and 1914, Ottoman envoys continually represented their empire in the capitals of Europe. In fact, Ottoman participation to the post-1814 ‘Vienna system’ amply antedates that of other non-Western polities.

Houssine Alloul’s project seeks to write Ottoman diplomats back into European history. It investigates their habitus and social networks in different European capitals and pays particular attention to the formation of ‘intercultural’ bonds of amity and how various Western racialisms thwarted or complicated such relationships. Moving this multi-religious group of Ottoman officials center stage again, the project corrects conventional narratives that often paint the world of diplomats as a singularly Western European one in which non-Western actors played no active part.

Selected publications

  • Alloul, Houssine, and Darina Martykánová. “Charting New Ground in the Study of Ottoman Foreign Relations.” The International History Review 43, no. 5 (2021): 1018-40. https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2021.1914706
  • Alloul, Houssine, and Michael Auwers. “What is (New in) New Diplomatic History?”. Journal of Belgian History 48, no. 4 (2018): 112-22.
  • Alloul, Houssine, and Roel Markey. “‘Please Deny these Manifestly False Reports’: Ottoman Diplomats and the Press in Belgium (1850-1914).” International Journal of Middle East Studies 48, no. 2 (2016): 267-92. DOI: 10.1017/S0020743816000040