In the increasingly questioning world of the 1990s, the role of the monarchy in a democracy is again coming under scrutiny. Its critics argue that the monarchy is a profoundly conservative institution which serves to inhibit social change; that it has outlived its usefulness; that it symbolizes and reinforces deference and hierarchy; and that its radical reform is therefore long overdue.
Rejecting these arguments, Vernon Bogdanor makes a powerful case for the positive role that monarchy plays in modern democratic politics. Ranging across law, politics, and history he argues that far from undermining democracy, the monarchy sustains and strengthens democratic institutions; that constitutional monarchy is a form of government that ensures not conservatism but legitimacy.
The first serious examination of the political role of the monarchy to appear in many years, this book will make fascinating reading for all those interested in the monarchy and the future of British politics.
About the Author
A regular contributor to the national press and television, Vernon Bogdanor is Reader in Government, and Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford.
Table of Contents
1. The Evolution of Constitutional Monarchy
2. The Basic Constitutional Rules: The Rules of Succession
3. The Basic Constitutional Rules: Influence and the Prerogative
4. The Appointment of a Prime Minister
5. The Constitutional Crises
6. Hung Parliaments and Proportional Representation
7. The Financing of the Monarchy
8. The Sovereign's Private Secretary
9. The Sovereign and the Church
10. The Sovereign and the Commonwealth
11. The Future of Constitutional Monarchy
Appendix 1. Sovereigns since Henry VIII
Appendix 2. British Prime Ministers since 1782
Appendix 3. Private Secretaries since 1870
Appendix 4. Member states of the Commonwealth, 1995
Appendix 5. Some Constitutional Episodes Involving the Use of Royal Power since 1900