Monarchy

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Monarchy

A system of government headed by a hereditary figure such as a king or queen. There are two basic types of monarchies. In an absolute monarchy, the monarch theoretically has complete control as an autocrat, though in practice other officials have varying degrees of control as well. In a constitutional monarchy, the monarch shares power with an elected chamber or other elected leaders and, in extreme cases, has little actual power.
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Just before the election, the Carnegie Endowment Foundation, in a forum on 'Arab monarchies confront the Arab spring' (22nd November, 2011) concluded that there were three unique qualities which characterise the Arab monarchies.
From the 17th century (Great Britain) to the 19th century (France, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico) and to 20th century (Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, Yugoslavia, Ethiopia, China, Greece, Cambodia, Persia, Nepal, Egypt, Libya, Iraq), more monarchies were toppled than rebuilt whenever their societies were fundamentally transformed.
Joseph Kechichian's new book, Power and Succession in Arab Monarchies: A Reference Guide, does not pander to either extreme; it is an excellent place to begin a search for a better understanding of what in the Western world is an anachronism, modern Arab monarchies.
Britain's royal family is not the wealthiest of Europe's constitutional monarchies. That honor belongs to the rulers of Liechtenstein, one of Europe's tiniest nations, who are worth $5.3 billion.
Herb argues that the Arab monarchies of the Gulf have succeeded in fashioning enduring political rule through intrafamily cohesion, which he terms "dynastic monarchy." The primary cases that serve as examples for the other Gulf monarchies are Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
One observer of monarchies in the developing world writing in the late 1960s concluded that their future was "bleak" and that "the key questions concern simply the scope of the violence and their demise and who wields the violence." Three decades later, eight Middle Eastern monarchies have defied this prediction and other similarly bleak prognostications.
On the eve of World War I, only four nations in Europe, and none of any consequence (France, Portugal, San Marino, and Switzerland), were not monarchies. Today, however, democracy reigns, and monarchs are widely seen, in the words of the American writer Austin O'Malley, as "a vermiform appendix: useless when quiet; when obtrusive, in danger of removal" (quoted in Esar 1962, 140), or even as the capstone of a sinister conspiracy.
Furthermore, worldwide, militaries, not civil society, have posed the greatest danger to monarchies in this century.
This is true of all constitutional monarchies -- the United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Japan to name just a few.
There are six other monarchies in the EU, if one includes the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, which are in the same situation.
This approach, which emphasizes the growth of repressive state policing and the preservation of conservative monarchies, earned the German states in the 1850s and 1860s the label of reactionary.
He regarded monarchies as the antithesis of what the U.S.