NEW BOOK: Ruler Personality Cults from Empires to Nation-states and Beyond: Symbolic Patterns and Interactional Dynamics

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An historical examination of personality cults seems especially timely and this new book offers a global view over a grand sweep of time.  Below is the description and table of contents, something to consider.

Ruler Personality Cults from Empires to Nation-states and Beyond: Symbolic Patterns and Interactional Dynamics (Routledge Studies in Modern History)


Kirill Postoutenko is Senior Researcher in the Special Research Area 1288 (Practices of Comparison) at Bielefeld University, Germany, and Visiting Professor of Russian at the University of Besançon, France.

Darin Stephanov is Guest Researcher at the Islamic Cultures and Societies Research Unit at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Encompassing five continents and twenty centuries, this book puts ruler personality cults on the crossroads of disciplines rarely, if ever, juxtaposed before: among its authors are historians, linguists, media scholars, political scientists and communication sociologists from Europe, the United States and New Zealand. However, this breadth and versatility are not goals in themselves. Rather, they are the means to work out an integrated approach to personality cults capable of overcoming both the dominance of much-discussed 20th century poster examples (Bolshevism-Nazism-Fascism) and the lack of interest in the related practices of leader adoration in religious and cultural contexts. Instead of reiterating the understandable but unfruitful fixation on rulers as the cults’ focal points, the authors focus on communicative patterns and interactional chains linking rulers with their subjects: in this light, the adoration of political figures is seen as a collective enterprise impossible without active, if often tacit, collaboration between rulers and their constituencies.

Routledge Studies in Modern History

Table of Contents

1. "Personality Cults": The Career of the Contested Notion - Dmitri Zakharine

2. The Mechanisms of Cult Production: An Overview - Xavier Marquez

3. Making the Cult of Personality from Bottom Up: The Case of Seventeenth-Century Mughal India - Ali Anooshahr

4. A Personality Cult against One’s Will? Traits and Trajectories of Popular Veneration of Emperor Alexander I (r. 1801-1825) - Darin Stephanov

5. Of Death and Dominion: Queen Victoria and the Cult of Colonial Loyalty – J. Plunkett

6. The Magic Mirror: Supplicant Letters and the Role of False Equivalences in Shaping Ruler Dominance - Eva Giloi

7. Father of the People, Face of the Nation: The Premodern and Modern Foundations of Ruler Personality Cults -Alexey Tikhomirov

8. The Image of Josip Broz Tito in Post-Yugoslavia: Between National and Local Memory - Tamara Trošt

9. Deification, Canonization and Random Signaling: Upholding and Sustaining Personality Cults - Kirill Postoutenko

10. ‘We Thank You, Our Beloved Leader!’ The Origins and Evolution of Nicolae Ceaușescu’s Cult of Personality - Manuela Marin

11. Embodied Practices of Leadership:The Case of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – C. Joppien

12. Symbolic Patterns and Interactional Dynamics in Ruler Personality Cults: Responding to Questions and Formulating Ideas for Future Research - Kirill Postoutenko and Darin Stephanov