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Unveiling the Checkered Fortunes of the Ottoman Empire

28 Pages Posted: 1 May 2007 Last revised: 8 May 2008

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl

Virginia Military Institute

Date Written: May 7, 2008


The Ottoman Empire has been predominantly viewed as the 'Sick Man of Europe.' The question arises, however, how this perceived inefficiency can be reconciled with the long existence and prosperity of the Empire. I argue that the Ottoman system could have been efficient subject to constraints. More specifically, I explore the role of the technology of predation and the adherence to the law in determining relative changes in the social order and the power of the Sultan, which in turn led to the relative decline of the Empire.

Keywords: Ottoman Empire, Predation, Social Classes

JEL Classification: N0, C71, D74

Suggested Citation

Dimitrova-Grajzl, Valentina P., Unveiling the Checkered Fortunes of the Ottoman Empire (May 7, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Valentina P. Dimitrova-Grajzl (Contact Author)

Virginia Military Institute ( email )

Department of Economics and Business
Scott Shipp Hall
Lexington, VA 24450
United States

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