‘From the Eastern Question to the Western Question: Rethinking the Contribution of Toynbee’, , Vol. 14 (Fall 2005), 323-332

2005-01-01
My objective in this essay is to examine and relate two significant historical questions. The first one is generally known in the literature of diplomatic history as ‘the Eastern Question.’ The second one can be called the ‘Western Question,’ that is, the problem of Westernization/modernization/Europeanization that is addressed in different disciplines of the social sciences. These two questions, with their historical ramifications and theoretical implications, continue to underpin not only the policies formulated and implemented by statesmen and practitioners but also the arguments propounded by social scientists, including scholars of international relations. In re-evaluating these questions, I look at how Arnold J. Toynbee (1889–1975), the British historian, treated these questions. Toynbee is significant because he is generally considered to be the first scholar to bring these two questions together. In what follows, I first analyze the origins of the Eastern Question with respect to the Ottoman Empire and its subject populations. Then, I examine the problem of Westernization as it relates to the Eastern Question. Given that Toynbee strongly urged us to go beyond disciplinary boundaries, especially those of diplomatic history, I believe that his treatment can provide a better understanding of these intertwined problems.
Citation Formats
A. N. Yurdusev, “‘From the Eastern Question to the Western Question: Rethinking the Contribution of Toynbee’, , Vol. 14 (Fall 2005), 323-332,” pp. 323–332, 2005, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/71625.