The Uses of Displacement: Populations, Politics, and Refugee Aid in the Balkans, 1875-1878


Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies




This dissertation studies the creation, care for, and repatriation of nineteenth-century refugees from Ottoman Bosnia to develop a history of imperial refugee policy and to rethink the nationally-based narratives that dominate the European historiography of the refugee. Drawing on Habsburg and Ottoman documents and local sources, the project examines the nature of late imperial co-operation and refugee aid policy. It develops a history of state-run refugee aid programs and co-operative imperial projects to resettle and return refugees, and argues that the ability to control and resettle refugees was a key tool for the legitimization of imperial rule. Finally, the dissertatin analyzes how non-state actors sought to define the very meaning of humanitarianism and use these terms to internationalize their needs.