Book Discussion: When Democracy Died by Hans-Lukas Kieser

Photo Courtesy: Cambridge University Press


In July 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne signed in Switzerland officially ended the conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Allied Forces. The Treaty established the borders of the modern Turkish republic and at the same time, it also defined boundaries, political systems, and understandings of citizenship in the newly formed post-Ottoman nation-states. Here using his latest book, Hans-Lukas Kieser recounts how the eight dramatic months of the Lausanne Conference concluded more than ten years of war and genocide in the late Ottoman Empire.



The Treaty was in favour of a homogeneous Turkish state in Asia Minor and became the basis for the compulsory ‘unmixing of people’ that facilitated the persecution of minority groups, including Armenians, Kurds and Arabs. Not only did this significant yet oft-overlooked treaty mark the end of the League of Nations’ project of self-determination and security for small peoples, but it was crucial in shaping the modern Middle East, and dictatorships in Turkey and Europe.



Hans-Lukas Kieser

Associate Professor, The University of Newcastle; Adjunct Professor, The University of Zurich



Donald Bloxham

Richard Pares Professor of European History, Modern History and Historiography, The University of Edinburgh



Soumava Basu

Soumava Basu

President and Founder, CGC


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