Centre for the Study of Modern Monarchy
Forty-four countries (including Queen Elizabeth II’s 16 realms) still have a monarch as head of state. These monarchies span the globe from those in the Middle East (e.g. Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the various Gulf nations) where the monarchs are de facto heads of government, to the quasi-religious monarchies of East Asia (e.g. Bhutan, Nepal, Japan and Thailand) to the monarchies of Northern Europe (e.g. UK, Benelux nations and Scandinavian states) who once exercised considerable political power but now perform a more symbolic and civic role.
This new interdisciplinary centre will promote the comparative study of modern monarchy to explore sovereignty and rule in theory and practice and ask questions such as how do monarchies adapt to change, reinvent themselves and navigate between past, present and future to ensure the continuity of the institution? What are the possibilities, challenges and opportunities of contemporary monarchies in different national contexts facing the loss of (political) importance, power, space, relevance, and popularity? How is the relevance and roles of these seemingly anachronistic institutions negotiated? Where does the perpetual interest in monarchies stem from? What role do they play in concepts of legal sovereignty, power and definitions of legality? How have monarchies used traditional and social media and been ‘abused’ by media? What is the role of monarchy in popular culture and civic society?
The centre’s research will also contribute to increasingly urgent contemporary debate about the role of monarchies in international relations and geopolitics, in the development of national identities and in constitutional reform.
Details on Launch event and major international conference to follow.
Twitter - @CentreMonarchy
Dr Anna Whitelock
Reader in Early Modern History & Head of History, School of Humanities
Email - Anna.Whitelock@rhul.ac.uk
Coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953