A Kisaragi Colour
The Academic Study of Monarchy
Monarchy is humanity's oldest and most prevalent form of government. Despite this the academic study of monarchy as a form of government is surprisingly weak. While the philosophical study of monarchy has its noted thinkers you would be hard-pressed to find a scholar who has delved into the data to determine what effect, if any, monarchy has on a country in a practical rather than theoretical way.
The reason for this I believe is two-fold: Accounting for the myriad of competing factors (culture, history, government policy, religion, etc) needed to form a conclusion about monarchy itself and, until recently, an inability to access the data needed to form conclusions. The development of the internet and the explosion in country development indexes is making both problems, if not easy to deal with, at least manageable. It must be remembered that republicanism gained predominance in the aftermath of the First Wold War. You and I have access to far more accurate information than people of that era could ever hope to have.
Its not like there is a complete dearth of research on the institution of monarchy but you really need to search. Christian Bjørnskov & Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard of the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University produced a working paper in 2008 titled Economic Growth and Institutional Reform in Modern Monarchies and Republics: A Historical Cross-Country Perspective 1820-2000. Its primary argument was that while monarchies and republics handled small reforms equally well large reforms produced a 'valley of tears' in republics where economic growth decreased while monarchies actually experienced slightly increased economic growth.
This is the kind of thing that inevitably helps us monarchists. While historical, emotional, theoretical, and cultural arguments are valid they can only take us so far. I firmly believe that it is hard data on what having a monarch does for a country that is needed to confront republicans. Remember what I wrote earlier: many republics were formed before the tools were in place to critique their performance. Another way of putting it is they have gotten a free ride for far too long. Its not like the data isn't already interesting before you even get into it seriously but it can be very hard to interpret.
For starters, take a look at any number of development indexes and you will find that monarchies invariably occupy between 5-7 of the top spots and have a distinct absence from the bottom rankings. Now this by itself is not as useful as you'd think. Instability tends to favour the formation of republics and lower development across the board so a chronically unstable state would both be at the bottom of an index and likely be a republic. By the same token it is difficult to say whether stable monarchies are stable because they are monarchies or monarchies because they are stable. However, it is an interesting phenomenon which might have underlying causes connected to monarchism, if only people would look.
For university students this all presents an interesting opportunity. As university students they will be asked to research a wide range of topics. Many of these fields of study are very old and have long had the 'low-hanging fruit' discovered by others. As a result many arguments are retreads of earlier research. However, since the study of monarchy seems to be in its infancy there is a real chance to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of this government form.
A Kisaragi Colour
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This website is intended to be a resource for those arguing in favour of Canada's monarchy, researching Canada's royal past, or wondering what the various vice-regal representatives of the Canadian Crown are up to currently. As well, articles about other monarchies may appear from time to time.