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Modern monarchs and democracy : Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej and Juan Carlos of Spain


Ünaldi, Serhat

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Abstract The history of democracy is typically a history of struggle against monarchs and other such autocrats. The elevation of one person over others by virtue of blood and birth has come to be seen as anachronistic; yet some monarchies have managed to survive to this day. This paper analyses two examples of the uneasy coalition between popular sovereignty and royal leadership that is constitutional monarchy. Whereas Juan Carlos of Spain has been described as having steered Spain away from dictatorship, Bhumibol of Thailand has come under scrutiny for allegedly lacking a principled approach to democracy. I argue that structural as much as personal factors influenced the ways in which the two monarchies were legitimised – one by positively responding to the modern aspirations of the king’s subjects, giving him a “forward legitimacy,” the other by revitalising the king’s traditional charisma and opting for “backward legitimacy.”
Thesaurusschlagwörter Thailand; Spain; monarchy; democracy; democratization; domination; legitimation; political system; historical development; political power; Southeast Asia
Klassifikation Staat, staatliche Organisationsformen
Methode deskriptive Studie
Freie Schlagwörter 1900-2010
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2012
Seitenangabe S. 5-34
Zeitschriftentitel Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, 31 (2012) 2
ISSN 1868-4882
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Creative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerz., Keine Bearbeitung