Rethinking Russian pan-Slavism in the Ottoman Balkans: N.P. Ignatiev and the Slavic Benevolent Committee (1856–77)

Yiǧit Gülseven A.

Middle Eastern Studies, vol.53, no.3, pp.332-348, 2017 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 53 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00263206.2016.1243532
  • Journal Name: Middle Eastern Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.332-348
  • Police Academy Affiliated: No


In the mid-nineteenth century pan-Slavic ideology was evident at two levels: at the personal level in N.P. Ignatiev's diplomacy, and at the institutional level in the Slavic Benevolent Committee's activities. Both served to spread Russian influence among the Slavic Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Sultan. The Russian Archives contain a wealth of material related to the Slavic Benevolent Committee and Ambassador N.P. Ignatiev's activities concerning Russia's Balkan policy. The memoirs of the Russian and Ottoman bureaucratic elites also offer great detail on the subject. Relying upon these archival sources and memoirs, this article aims to discuss the transformation of pan-Slavic ideology from a cultural organization into a Russian political asset, with special attention to N.P. Ignatiev and the Slavic Benevolent Committee.