Emily Grebel Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe
(Oxford U Press, 2022)
The winning book explores the responses of European Muslims to the emergence ofpredominantly Christian nation states in Southeastern Europe from the last 19 th to the mid20 th century. Focusing on the Yugoslav space, Greble shows how Muslims used bothnational and international languages and frames, as well as their experience in the OttomanEmpire, to petition for and demand their rights.The book is structured into three chronological periods in which this interaction betweenMuslims and the state is organized, the transition from Ottoman Rule to the End of WorldWar One, the interwar Yugoslav experience, the disruptions of World War Two, and theestablishment of Socialist Yugoslavia in the immediate aftermath of the war.The book, through the rich analysis of local archival sources, gives Muslim communitiesagency. While the new nations states often viewed Muslims with hostility, as aliens whowere associated with Ottoman rule, many Muslims remained and sought to carve out aniche in the new states, using customary laws, the new concept of religious freedom, or,later, minority rights, to preserve their community.The book makes an important contribution by showing how Muslims have been aconstituent community at the time European nation states emerged in the 19 th century.While the new nation states often sought to sought to deny their existence and insteadimagine a homogenous nation, Muslims conceived of themselves as European communitiesand sought their rights both within the framework of the new states or, if that was notpossible, in rebellion against them.Through the combination of extensive archival research and a change of perspective, thebook raises the timely question of who is European and convincingly makes the case forincluding Muslims not just at the margins and subjects of the European national buildingprojects, but making them active participants in this process.
The committee also awards an Honorable Mention to Julija Sardelić, The Fringes ofCitizenship. Romani Minorities in Europe and Civic Marginalisation. Manchester UniversityPress 2021 and Maria Koinova, Diaspora Entrepreneurs and Contested States. OxfordUniversity Press 2021.
The winner of the 2022 Rothschild Prize was chosen by the following scholars:• Dmitry Gorenburg, Harvard University; Committee Chair• Eleanor Knott, London School of Economics and Political Science• Florian Bieber, University of Graz• John Paul Newman, National University of Ireland Maynooth