European Constitutional Monarchies

Rosenborg Castle
SAXO Institute, University of Copenhagen; The Royal Danish Collections, Rosenborg Castle
23.08.2012 - 24.08.2012
Jes Fabricius Møller

In world history monarchy is the most common form of government. Historians have taken great interest in the kings of the past in as far as they have held political power. But monarchs of the 19th and particularly of the 20th century have generally been considered to be props and not actors in the ‘theatre of power’. It became a convention of historical literature to regard them as survivals of the ancien régime.

In recent years, however, European constitutional monarchies of the 19th and 20th centuries have received renewed attention especially by sociologists and cultural historians. It has become clear that the surviving European monarchies survived for a reason. They avoided irrelevance and successfully reinvented themselves to fit a modern age of constitutionalism, democracy, nationalism, de-colonization, mass-media and popular culture.
It is the intention of this conference to further explore the perspectives for the study of European monarchies in the 19th and 20th centuries and to build a network of researchers in the field.

Key note:
Professor Sir David Cannadine, Princeton and University of London
Professor Richard Jenkins, Sheffield

The conference invites papers on the following suggested topics:

-Monarchy, constitution and democracy. Conflicts and tensions between traditional kingship and modern society; functions of the monarch in light of the constitutional and democratic development in the 19th and 20th centuries.

-Monarchy, nation and state. The monarch’s role as head-of-state in empires, conglomerate states and nation states. The successful reinvention of monarchy in an age of nationalism.

-Monarchy war, resistance and collaboration. Functions and roles of the monarch as national rallying point, patriarch of the state and (symbolic) supreme commander in the case of armed conflict.

-Monarchy and the public. The representation and presentation of monarchs and royal families in the media, public ceremonies, monuments, museums etc. Legitimization strategies.

-The sociology of monarchy. The societal role of monarchy and popular perception.

Applicants should send an abstract of 200-300 words and a short biography to Deadline for proposals is 15 May 2012.

For further information or other enquiries, please contact Associate Professor Jes Fabricius Møller,


Jes Fabricius Møller

SAXO Institute, Njalsgade 80
DK-2300 København S

European Constitutional Monarchies, 23.08.2012 – 24.08.2012 Copenhagen, in: H-Soz-Kult, 22.03.2012, <>.