During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Ottoman Empire endured long periods of warfare, facing intense financial pressures and new international mercantile and monetary trends. The Empire also experienced major political-administrative restructuring and socioeconomic transformations. In the context of this tumultuous change, The Economics of Ottoman Justice examines Ottoman legal practices and the sharia court's operations to reflect on the judicial system and provincial relationships. Metin Coşgel and Boğaç Ergene provide a systematic depiction of socio-legal interactions, identifying how different social, economic, gender and religious groups used the court, how they settled their disputes, and which factors contributed to their success at trial. Using an economic approach, Coşgel and Ergene offer rare insights into the role of power differences in judicial interactions, and into the reproduction of communal hierarchies in court, and demonstrate how court use patterns changed over time.
About the Author
Metin Coşgel is Professor of Economics and Department Head of the Department of Economics at the University of Connecticut. He has published widely on the Ottoman Empire.
Boğaç Ergene is Associate Professor of History at the University of Vermont. He is the author of Local Court, Provincial Society and Justice in the Ottoman Empire (2003).
Table of Contents
Introduction; Part I. Methodology and Background: 1. Quantitative approaches in research on Ottoman legal practice; 2. Kastamonu: the town and its people; Part II. The Court and Court Clients: 3. The court, its actors, and its archive; 4. Court use: a preliminary analysis; Part III. To Settle or Not to Settle: 5. Dispute resolution in Ottoman courts of law; 6. Trial vs settlement: an economic approach; 7. Which disputes went to trial? Case-type- and period-based analyses; Part IV. Litigations: 8. Rules and tools of litigation; 9. Economics of litigation: what affects success at trial?; 10. Who won? Case-type- and period-based analyses; Conclusion.