Forest and the state:
Dursun, Selçuk (2007) Forest and the state:. [Thesis]
This dissertation is on the history of forestry and forest administration in the Ottoman Empire from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century, though major part of it is devoted to the nineteenth-century, when forestry was considered a science in and of itself, and the forest came to be seen as a source of wealth, if properly managed and regulated. By discussing the development of rational forestry in the Ottoman Empire, this dissertation aims to show relational patterns of economic, administrative, political, legal, and environmental aspects of Ottoman society. In other words, this dissertation seeks to document and analyze the emergence of rational forest management, the administrative and institutional developments that accompanied it, the process of forest-related codification and the limits to forest management and administration. The forestry practices and policies in the Ottoman Empire manifest that rational forest management, or scientific forestry, could develop in a dominantly agrarian setting, where industrial and technological progress was only in the making. This dissertation argues that the inherent limits and weaknesses of the Ottoman modern statemaking, wrongly equated with ‘centralization’, had a direct impact on the development of forestry. This was a process through which the Ottoman state gradually lost its capacity to control its forests while trying to have firmer grip on them.
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