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Open Access Towards a Comparative Understanding of Rulership: Discourses, Practices, Patterns

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Towards a Comparative Understanding of Rulership: Discourses, Practices, Patterns

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Chapter Summary

In Europe, a similar mixture of rulers' personal initiatives, administrative procedure, and localised responses determined the changing patterns of centre and periphery, only in the course of the seventeenth century, however, did the standards of administrative procedure in Europe approach those of Imperial China. Moreover, the persistence of nobilities in the upper layers of executive office in Europe and the marked presence of semi-hereditary high office in some countries set the European experience apart from most Asian examples. Dynastic power can be examined effectively only with combined political and cultural perspectives, it is difficult to draw a line between these overlapping domains. The ideals of rulership, reflected in numerous tracts across the Eurasian continent, clearly show similarities as well as marked differences. European and Islamicate West Asian rulers were expected to take a more active stance, and valour ranked high among princely virtues.

Keywords: Dynastic power; European rulers; Imperial China; rulership; seventeenth century



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