“Knowledge is power. It opens up the limitless possibilities of the future”
Dr. Stephen Kerr’s book “The Entitlement to Rule: Legal, Non-Territorial Sovereignty in International Law” is one of those singular, path breaking works that throws new light on a field of study, in this case, as its title indicates, on the complex legal and philosophical sinews that keep alive monarchies, which through the upheavals of history, have lost their sovereign role. The volume is an excellent structured collection of ideas and interpretations, which brings in a logical and easy to follow manner multiple aspects of international law, history, and symbolism of monarchies in the special situation of deposed monarchs, the complex problematic surrounding their status and interaction with their home and host states and nations. This type of writing fills a huge gap within the royal studies field, more acute so as a series of monarchs were deposed and often reinstated during ferment periods that followed the great conflagrations of the 20th century.
Dr. Stephen Kerr is most qualified to undertake the task of writing such a volume in the light of his experience as a professor of international public law and work as a special counsel to the Imperial and Royal House of Habsburg. He magisterially expounds the multifaceted status of the deposed monarchs, which requires in depth knowledge of monarchic legal rights and principles, ranging from natural to international and constitutional law, rules and laws of succession, sovereign rights and legal responsibilities or political theory notions of divine right of kings. The sovereignty is the heart and soul of a monarchical institution, as much as the “the sovereign is the soul of society”. For all those legal rights and moral values the royal families have the right to be seen as fons honorum. This book is also a model to understanding the future of the monarchies, the values that stand at the foundation of the kingly rules and their functioning mechanisms.
I highly recommend this first class writing that has relevance not only to those interested in royal studies, but also to the wider fields of history and legal studies. Diana Mandache