Article de presse ou magazine
A Social History of Trans-Imperial Diplomacy in a Crisis Context: Herbert von Rathkeal's Circles of Belonging in Pera, 1779–1802
International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior
US : Routledge
cross-cultural Diplomacy, social history, diaspora, eighteenth century, Istanbul
This article explores the multiple circles of diplomatic agents and their social belonging in the context of the international crisis in late eighteenth-century Istanbul, drawing upon the private papers of the imperial internuncio at Pera between 1779 and 1802. The son of an Irish Jacobite supporter who became a Jesuit and then a radical reformer in Vienna, Peter Herbert von Rathkeal was also a member of the Pera society in which he was born and raised. An agent of one of the most influential trans-imperial households established in Friuli, and a member of the Austrian and British nobilities, Herbert sought to become an eminent actor of the Ottoman diplomatic scene while remaining the patron of a cosmopolitan commercial-cum-political clientele. To study Herbert's actions is to question the model of diplomatie de type ancien in a cross-cultural and fast-changing context of crisis. Despite the collapse of the old diplomatic order with the breakdown of the French Revolution, and despite rising tensions generated by the increasingly sensitive ‘Eastern Question’, this article reveals how Herbert von Rathkeal managed to maintain a certain stability in Istanbul due to the economic and social resources, which his different circles of belonging opened up for him.