The reformist horizons of Ahmed Cevdet Paşa: the notions of civilization (medeniyet), progress (terakki), and solidarity (asabiyet)
Sezer, Hatice (2015) The reformist horizons of Ahmed Cevdet Paşa: the notions of civilization (medeniyet), progress (terakki), and solidarity (asabiyet). [Thesis]
In this thesis, the reformist horizon of the eminent nineteenth century intellectual Ahmed Cevdet Paşa is analysed. During this period of Ottoman modernization, instead of favouring the direct adoption of the modernizing socio-political system that has been developed in the West, Cevdet was mainly supporting the organic change of societies. As a result of the analyses made by looking into several works written by Cevdet such as the Târih-i Cevdet, the Tezâkîr and the Ma’rûzât, it is suggested that Cevdet’s understanding of the three concepts; civilization, progress and solidarity can be held representative of his reformist horizon. Throughout the study, Cevdet’s reformist horizon is subjected to two different understandings on modernity chosen as a matter of my personal choice which are the Weberian analyses of different types of behaviours that are effective in the formation of the modern social order, and the Foucauldian theory on the “art of governmentality”. While the Weberian understanding is instrumentalized in observing Cevdet’s intellectual inclinations, the Foucauldian one is used in seeing his tendencies as to the way he considers better in the governance of the Ottoman Empire. In the end it is argued that Cevdet, both as an intellectual and as a statesman, was a thorough reformist who was partially progressive and entirely for gradual change.
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