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Vol 24 No 6 June/July 2019

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The Shapeshifting Crown: Locating the State in Post-Colonial New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK

Edited by: Cris Shore, David V. Williams

ISBN13: 9781108496469
Published: January 2019
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £85.00

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The Crown stands at the heart of the New Zealand, British, Australian and Canadian constitutions as the ultimate source of legal authority and embodiment of state power. A familiar icon of the Westminster model of government, it is also an enigma. Even constitutional experts struggle to define its attributes and boundaries: who or what is the Crown and how is it embodied? Is it the Queen, the state, the government, a corporation sole or aggregate, a relic of feudal England, a metaphor, or a mask for the operation of executive power? How are its powers exercised? How have the Crowns of different Commonwealth countries developed? The Shapeshifting Crown combines legal and anthropological perspectives to provide novel insights into the Crown's changing nature and its multiple, ambiguous and contradictory meanings. It sheds new light onto the development of the state in postcolonial societies and constitutional monarchy as a cultural system.

  • A novel anthropological analysis of the Crown and the political and legal work that it performs in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.
  • Examines the Crown's fluid, contested and contradictory meanings and the implications of this for political legitimacy, sovereignty and governance in postcolonial societies.
  • Provides comparative and ethnographic perspectives on the role of the Crown in postcolonial Australia, Canada New Zealand and Britain, and assesses which country will be first to become a republic.
  • Analyses arguments about constitutional reform and offers new anthropological insights into the meanings of monarchy as a symbolic system

Constitutional and Administrative Law
1. Introduction: A Shapeshifting Enigma: The Crown in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom Cris Shore

Part I. The Nature and Development of the Crown:
2. Genealogies of the Modern Crown: From St Edward to Queen Elizabeth II David V. Williams
3. The Crown as Metonym for the State? The Human Face of Leviathan Cris Shore
4. Indigenous Peoples and the Crown: The Sacred Duty Sally Raudon

Part II. The Crown as an Embodied Entity:
5. The Rituals of Crown and State in New Zealand Jai Patel
6. Locating the Crown in Australia: The Swag of Camp Gallipoli Sally Raudon
7. Localising the Crown: Royals and (Re)Patriation Jai Patel and Sally Raudon

Part III. The Crown and Constitutional Reform:
8. The Republican Move: Cutting Colonial Ties Jai Patel
9. Constitutional Reform and the Politics of Public Engagement Cris Shore and David V. Williams
10. Crown Prerogative: Reining In the Powers David V. Williams
11. The Queen is Dead, Long live the King? Sally Raudon
12. Conclusion: The Future of the Crown in an Age of Uncertainty: Sempiternal or Crumbling Foundation? Cris Shore, David V. Williams and Sally Raudon