Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 11, 2018

King/Queen of the United States?

Here's one for students to discuss. And there are enough assertions to be checked with research. (Are nations with monarchies "generally richer and more stable?") Does being a member of a titled aristocracy have any influence on opinions?

What’s the Cure for Ailing Nations? More Kings and Queens, Monarchists Say
Count Nikolai Tolstoy says, more kings, queens and all the frippery that royalty brings would be not just a salve for a superpower in political turmoil, but also a stabilizing force for the world at large.

“I love the monarchy,” Count Tolstoy, 82, said as he sat in his lush garden behind an expansive stone house. “Most people think the monarchy is just decorative and filled with splendor and personalities. They do not appreciate the important ideological reasons for a monarchy.”

The count… leads the International Monarchist League and is part of a loose confederation of monarchists scattered across the globe, including in the United States.

Their core arguments: Countries with monarchies are better off because royal families act as a unifying force and a powerful symbol; monarchies rise above politics; and nations with royalty are generally richer and more stable…

A recent study that examined the economic performance of monarchies versus republics bolsters their views. Led by Mauro F. Guillén, a management professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the study found “robust and quantitatively meaningful evidence” that monarchies outperform other forms of government…

Count Tolstoy insists that monarchists are not pining for the days of absolute rulers and the divine right of kings…

Dutch King Willem-Alexander
Instead, his group advocates constitutional monarchies, in which a king or queen is head of state and the real power rests with an elected Parliament…

Finding people to reject the monarchists’ vision is not hard, even in Britain, where Queen Elizabeth II is revered by many.

A London-based grass-roots organization called Republic, which wants the country to hold a referendum on the monarchy when the queen dies, says bluntly on its website, “The monarchy isn’t fit for purpose. It is corrupt and secretive.”…

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