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No Rubber Stamp: Hegel's Constitutional Monarch

Brooks, Thom

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Perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of Hegel's Philosophy of Right for contemporary interpreters is its discussion of the constitutional monarch. This is true despite the general agreement amongst virtually all interpreters that Hegel's monarch is no more powerful than modern constitutional monarchs and is an institution worthy of little attention or concern. In this article, I will examine whether or not it matters who is the monarch and what domestic and foreign powers he has. I argue against the virtual consensus of recent interpreters that Hegel's monarch is far more powerful than has been understood previously. In part, Hegel's monarch is perhaps even more powerful than Hegel himself may have realized and I will demonstrate certain inconsistencies with some of his claims. My reading represents a distinctive break from the virtual consensus, without endorsing the view that Hegel was a totalitarian.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2007
Deposit Date Nov 21, 2012
Publicly Available Date May 1, 2013
Journal History of Political Thought
Print ISSN 0143-781X
Publisher Imprint Academic
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 1
Pages 91-119
Public URL
Publisher URL


Published Journal Article (840 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright © Imprint Academic 2007

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