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European Monarchies: Guardians of Democracy

Hazell, R; Morris, B; (2020) European Monarchies: Guardians of Democracy. The Political Quarterly , 91 (4) pp. 841-845. 10.1111/1467-923X.12866. Green open access

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Abstract

How is it possible to account for the continuing presence of monarchy in advanced social democracies? Much traditional political science assumes teleologically that monarchies inevitably transform into republics as a higher form of governance. This comparative study of the eight main European monarchies maintains otherwise: monarchy is perfectly compatible with democracy, and can help strengthen citizens’ loyalty to the system of government. Provided it delivers a politically impartial head of state, monarchy can endure indefinitely with government and popular support. In practice, the countries studied are de facto republics, but with hereditary heads of state who occupy social roles beyond the reach of quotidian politics. Monarchy’s principal danger is not republicanism, but the pressures of conflicting expectations about what is required of royal families, and the relentless intrusions of modern media in an age when royalty and celebrity are in danger of being conflated. Responses to Covid‐19 show how monarchs can speak to and for their nations in ways no partisan politician can.

Type: Article
Title: European Monarchies: Guardians of Democracy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1467-923X.12866
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.12866
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10103338
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