Why some countries have still kings ?

The monarchy reflects, in general, a legal and institutional system (as well as an economic and social superstructure) of archaic type. However, you can not make generalizations.

There are forms of monarchical government more emancipated than the absolute monarchy (which expresses a form of government typical of an absolute state): a) constitutional pure monarchy. In this case, sovereignty is divided between the king and the other organs of State. There is, therefore, separation of powers, according to the rules established by Constitution; b) constitutional parliamentary monarchy. In this case, the King is not the holder of a real power: “The King reigns but He does not govern”. The governor is appointed by the King (or Queen) on the advice of the government. The latter must enjoy the confidence of the parliament.

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy. It’s hard to say how in this country the figure of the King is freely accepted by the people or imposed by a centuries-old tradition. I would say both. The Principality of Monaco is a State where there is a constitutional pure monarchy. The King governs, he holds the executive power, but not the judiciary and the legislative powers remitted to other authorities. We are facing a form of monarchy more emancipated than the absolute monarchy. Here the figure of the King still has a decisive role in the fate of the Country, but He doesn’t concentrate all the powers in his hands. It’s difficult to establish, in this context, if the figure of the King emerges from a popular will (from the bottom) or it is imposed by centuries of tradition. I would say, as in the first case, both. In the latter case, we are talking about the constitutional parliamentary monarchy (the United Kingdom is a classic example). Here the King (or Queen) is devoid of real powers. He doesn’t govern. His figure is only symbolic and is legitimized by people seeing in this same figure the continuation of a centuries-old identitarian tradition. In this case, the Queen is functional to a psychological collective need coming from the bottom.


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dr. Cristina Carpinelli


Cristina Carpinelli is a sociologist/politologist. She deals with research works, from economic and social point of view, concerning Central-Est Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland), South-Est Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, balkan Countries), Russia and all Former Soviet Union Countries. She has also become an expert on social welfare and gender and family politics in Countries mentioned above. She can't answer the questions relative to other geo-economic and political areas or about other questions outside her competence/knowledge. She lives and works in Milan (Italy).


Cristina Carpinelli wrote many articles and essays on the Ussr and on the transition of the Fsu from a planned economic system to a free market one. She wrote some books published by Nuovi Autori, Franco Angeli, Achab, Sedizioni, Zambon, Mimesis, Amazon.

She is a Scientific Committee Member of CeSPI (International Problems Study Center of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan ) as an expert on CEE (Central-Eastern Europe) and South-Eastern Europe (including Russia), and a monthly contributor to “noidonne” Magazine for gender and family politics in CEE (including Russia). She is part of the team experts of the U.S. Site “AllExperts” for the categories: “Sociology” and “Russia (News & Politics)”. She was part of the teaching staff for the training module “Objective Russia” (professional diploma for economic operators - ISPI school; module suspended from 2015) and now She is part of the teaching staff for the training module “European Union and ethnic and national minorities” (diploma in “European Affairs” - ISPI school). She is a member of the Italian Association for History Studies on Central and Eastern Europe (AISSECO - Since May 2015) and a member of the editorial staff of Mitteleuropean Social Watch (OSME - since January 2016).

La società sovietica negli anni della perestroika (Nuovi Autori, 1991); Donne e famiglia nella Russia sovietica (F. Angeli, 1998); Donne e povertà nella Russia di El’cin: l'era della transizione liberale (Franco Angeli, 2004); “Identities in Transition: Fsu Countries after the Collapse of Real Socialism” (CeSPI, 2004); La Russia a pezzi (Achab, 2008); “L’allargamento dell’Europa ai paesi dell’Est” (CeSPI, 2008), paper presented at the Conference “Quo vadis, Europe?”, organized by Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan, November 18, 2011; “Paesi Baltici tra integrazione europea e ‘apartheid’” in: Ripensare l’Europa dalle fondamenta, Mimesis, 2014 (Conference proceedings “Ripensare l’Europa dalle fondamenta”. Conference was organized by CeSPI and Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni - Milan; November 30, 2013); “Ucraina: un paese spaccato in due” (CeSPI, 2014), paper prepared for the Conference “Crisi Ucraina: quali possibili chiavi di lettura?” (May 16, 2014) organized by the Municipality of Sesto San Giovanni (Milan) and by CeSPI; “Nato, Ucraina, Russia” (CeSPI, 2014); L’Unione Europea e le minoranze etniche: Case Studies: Ungheria, Romania e Paesi Baltici, co-author Massimo Congiu (CreateSpace - an Company, May 18, 2016). Coming soon: Russia as told through the history of its mass media.

Cristina Carpinelli graduated during the academic year 1983/84 with the thesis "Alcuni aspetti del processo di invecchiamento della popolazione in Unione Sovietica: demografia, previdenza sociale, occupazione e salute" (Some aspects of the ageing process of the population in the Soviet Union: demography, social security, jobs and health) - State University of Milan, Faculty of Political Sciences (Statistics Department). The thesis of degree was elaborated in the Ussr, at the State University Lomonosov of Moscow.

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