On the overthrow or endurance of kings

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    Monarchy has two elements, autocratic government and hereditary succession to office. After surveying arguments for and against hereditary access to public office, the paper illustrates that theoretical explanations of the rise of representative government do not account for the abolition or preservation of hereditary monarchy in contemporary democratic states. The paper then distinguishes between proximate and fundamental causes of the fall of monarchy. The former are military defeat, dissolution of the state as a result of war defeat and decolonization, and revolution. Fundamental causes are those that explain how proximate causes led to the overthrow of the monarchy and focus on the failures of monarchs to preserve national unity and to withdraw from a politically active role.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)41-65
    JournalConstitutional Political Economy
    Issue number1
    Early online date15 Aug 2015
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Mar 2016


    • Constitutional monarchy
    • autocracy
    • republic
    • democracy
    • hereditary succession
    • revolution
    • constitutional exchange


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