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Legitimating Identities: the self-presentations of rulers and subjects

Rodney Barker
Cambridge University Press (Oct 2001)
170pp £13.95 p/b

Rulers of all kinds justify themselves through a variety of rituals, rhetoric and dramatisations, and this self-legitimisation has often been overlooked. This book argues that at least as much time is spent by rulers legitimating themselves in their own eyes as is spent in trying to convince ordinary subjects. Once this is taken into account, a fuller understanding can be gained of what rulers are doing when they rule, and what subjects are doing, both when they obey and rebel.

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