Theme: Political Ideas | Content Type: Journal article

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Besting Monarchy: The Anti-Classism Argument

Alex Benn


Provincial Archives of Alberta

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Following the death of a monarch and the crowning of another, this article considers monarchy as a topic in political theory. It seeks to revitalise the topic, which has been given limited attention by political theorists in recent years. It identifies traditional objections to monarchy, alongside newer objections that attack it (particularly the British institution) for being racist and imperialist. However, those objections—though increasingly common—are not fatal to monarchy as an idea. This article develops an argument against monarchy based on the concept of classism: discrimination based on a person's class. Reframing familiar criticisms of monarchy for being elitist and snobbish, the anti-classism argument draws on discrimination theory to outline the best objection to monarchy at the conceptual level.

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