Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Südosteuropäische Geschichte

Drafting into the Military during the End and Change of Empires in the Multi-Confessional Border Land: "Sancaks"



The main aim of this historiographical approach is to examine the recruitment process of the local population from the ’’Sancaks’’ region - which is located nowadays between Serbia and Montenegro - into the military and to investigate the relationship between the state and local population between periods of peace and periods of war/conflict. By seeing the conscription as a ’’continuing process’’, I will be analyzing the drafting into the military of various state systems. Precisely, I plan to research the recruitment into the Ottoman, Serbian, Montenegrin, Austro-Hungarian, and Yugoslav armies. Beginning from the late Ottoman period and ending with the creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, I will be able not only to investigate recruitment efforts of the aforementioned states before and during a war in one particular region, but also to see a social and integration dimension of the military after a war is ended.

Besides doing a regional study of the region that was ruled by five states in very short period of time and seeing the recruitment into the military as a ’’continuing process’’, I want also to investigate in my dissertation something that we could call ’’discontinuity and re-emerging of loyalty’’. In other words, loyalty to the previous state changes as soon as a new state arrives to the region. Even available literature written in English, BCS, German, and Turkish gives us interesting examples of the conscription process, an in-depth investigation is necessary in order to avoid the shortcomings of a methodological nationalism and to shed new light on recruitment efforts and social dimensions of the military in the multi-confessional context. The proposed research represents the first attempt to address the military conscription by analyzing it in different state systems. The findings are expected to contribute to a better understanding of the social dimensions of the military.


This dissertation is part of and publicly funded by a scholarship of Berlin Graduate School Muslim Countries and Societies.