If a power wishes to subdue a region, what can it do? Order its armies to annex it? Carve up the region into parts that are subsequently ruled by different great powers, or create new principalities as a tool for indirect power influence? Why not use ideology and economic strength to rule that same region instead?
The volume demonstrates how the European powers of the 16 th - 19 th centuries oscillate between these different stances in their attitude towards the Balkans, at the same time leaving enough space for the smaller regional players - states and individuals alike - to exercise their local power and influence.