Titular ruler


Titular ruler

__NOTOC__A titular ruler, or titular head, is a person in an official position of leadership who possesses few, if any, actual powers. [cite web |url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/titular |title="titular" Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary |accessdate=2008-06-25 |date=2008 |publisher=Meriam Webster] Sometimes a person may inhabit a position of titular leadership and yet exercise more power than would normally be expected, as a result of their personality or experience. A titular ruler is not confined to political leadership but can also reference any organization, such as a corporation.

Etymology

Titular is formed from a combination of the Latin "titulus" (title) and the English suffix "-ar", [cite book |title=Chambers Dictionary of Etymology |editor=Robert K. Barnhart |year=1988 |publisher=Chambers Harrap Publishers |location=New York |isbn=0-550-14230-4 |pages=1146 ] which means "of or belonging to." [cite web |url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-ar |title="-ar" Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary |accessdate=2008-06-25 |date=2008 |publisher=Meriam Webster]

Development

In most democratic countries today, the Head of State has either evolved into, or was created as, a position of titular leadership. In the former case, the leader may often have significant powers listed within the state's constitution, but is no longer able to exercise them, due to historical changes within that country. In the latter case, it is often made clear within the document that the leader is intended to be powerless. Heads of State who inhabit positions of titular leadership are usually regarded as symbols of the people they "lead."

Examples

*The democracy of the United Kingdom under the Prime Minister who executes most official powers, but the British monarch possesses limited powers and only has a ceremonial and constitutional role in Britain nowadays, as most official powers have been devolved to the Prime Minister who can declare war with the support of Parliament; a practice formerly only in the possession of the Sovereign.

*Emperor Hirohito of Japan remained as a titular ruler after the Japanese surrender in World War II. [cite web |url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IAV/is_1_96/ai_n19295862 |title=Cultural awareness: cross-cultural interaction today |accessdate=2008-06-25 |last=Wojdakowski |first=Walter |work=Infantry Magazine |publisher=BNET |date=January/February 2007]

*The Presidents of both Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany have largely ceremonial duties and are regarded as titular leaders.

References


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