The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone by Janet Klein (Review)

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Published in: Journal of World History, volume 23, Issue 4


Klein’s work is quite valuable for understanding Kurdish-Ottoman-state relations first and foremost. Second, it illuminates how such relations of state and nonstate (or perhaps quasi-state) actors are involved in ethnic cleansing not simply due to ethno-religious hatreds alone, but included also as part and parcel of power consolidation. Her writing style is both clear and eloquent and usage of both Kurdish and Ottoman documents speaks to her control of the languages and to a well-balanced and corroborated narrative, something imperative to Middle East and Ottoman studies.