Yates Publishes Bibliographic Article in Oxford University Press Online Bibliographies

Tuesday, 09 August 2016

douglas_yates.jpgProfessor Yates has just published his article on "Modern Dynastic Rule" in the Oxford University Press Online Bibliographies.

Based on four years of research for a new book that he is writing, this article allowed Yates to share the broad scope of contemporary dynasties which rule over a quarter of the states in the modern world system, including traditional monarchies (absolute and constitutional), democratic 'political families,' and authoritarian 'dynastic republics' (the last being the subject of his forthcoming book).

In his annotated bibliography, Yates covers the sources for an understanding of the debated anthropological concept of family kinship and sociological theories of patrimonial rule, as well as some grounding in psychological theories of family influence on individual personality, as well as national histories and biographies about very different peoples and cultures. The questions that he points are: Why do we accept to be ruled by families? What kind of atavistic behavior is this? Does dynastic style really provide a comparative advantage? How should we study these omnipresent phenomena? No modern textbook in comparative politics is available on modern dynastic rule per se, so we tend to borrow from the classics of Antiquity or from sociology’s theory of patrimonialism, anthropological theories of kinship, psychological theories of personality, political histories, biographies, and journalism. This leads to an eclectic bibliography, if intended for political scientists.

"When I first started to do research on dynastic rule, I naively presumed that it would be easy to find books on a topic so omnipresent in time and space. Surely the subject of dynasty could not have escaped its theoretician. In my discipline – political science – we theorize about every imaginable kind of system: presidential, parliamentary, communist, capitalist, unitary, federal, military, civilian, authoritarian, democratic. So given the great number of dynasties in the world, it did not seem at all unreasonable to hope that someone somewhere would have already written a book on dynastic systems. But surprisingly a general work on the politics of modern dynastic rule does not exist, not yet."

Oxford Bibliographies provides a pathway to resources for academic topics, a database of articles, an authoritative guide to current scholarship, written and reviewed by experts, with commentary and annotations.

(Note that access to Yates's article requires a subscription to the Oxford Bibliographies.)

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M.A., School of International Relations
Class of 2005

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