European Journal of Law Reform

Artikel

The Importance of the Symbolic Role of the Head of State

Keywords head of state, monarchy, democracy, symbolic, Sarkozy
Authors David Marrani
Author's information

108806 David Marrani
Dr. David Marrani, Senior Lecturer, University of Essex, School of Law, UK.
  • Abstract

      Why do we need, in a society that we assume to be democratic, someone that reminds us of the archaic organisation of humanity, someone like a head of state? We know that the ‘powerful’ heads have now been transformed, most of the time, in ‘powerless’ ones, with solely a symbolic role, often not recognised. So why do we need them and how important are they? Because they are part of our archaic memory, images of the father of the primitive hordes, and because they ‘sit’ above us, the symbolic role of the head of state can be read with the glasses of a psychoanalyst and the magnifier of a socio-legal scholar. This paper is a journey in time and space, looking at the move from the sovereign-monarch to the president-monarch, unfolding the question of authority and its link to ‘distance’ but also the connection to ‘the Father’ and the notion of the two bodies.

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