The articles in this volume represent Suraiya Faroqhi’s contribution to the ongoing scholarly debate over the relations between Ottoman society and state. Faroqhi takes the historiographical frameworks of modes of production and social history as a starting point but rejects some of the basic assumptions which have coloured the traditional view of European uniqueness. In the articles here, Faroqhi takes a more complex approach, in which the Ottomans are not so much different from Europeans – especially Mediterranean Europeans. At the same time, Faroqhi uses commonly ignored sources to understand social cohesion and social tensions. Thus, several articles focus on crime and banditry and what these teach us about the nature of Ottoman society.