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Critique of the Sovereign/Advisors

ITW Critique of the SovereignThe ITW "Critique of the Sovereign/Advisors" initially pursued the goal of developing criteria for criticism directed against supreme rulers. Case studies of the individual sub-projects were presented and discussed in a comparative format in order to develop a scheme to categorise the means and methods by which the ruler is criticised.

The basic criteria were defined: Addressees of critique, the (open) critics themselves, goals of critique, standards of critique, forums of critique, and finally the reception of critique. These criteria can be applied both text-immanently and outside the text. The "counsellor" has been identified as a particularly suitable figure for a transcultural comparison, since this figure is encountered in all sub-projects participating in the ITW.

SMH_006In the course of the practical collaboration, it became apparent that the scheme for categorising the critique of rulers developed by the ITW can be successfully and purposefully used to work out transcultural connecting lines. Against this background, the ability to provide advice is to be understood as a power resource that is clearly distinguished in the sources from the actual structures of rule.

More on this topic: In October 2017, a workshop on "Strategien und Erscheinungsformen von Kritik an Herrschern und Herrschaft" [follow-up report in German] took place in Bonn. In 2020, a volume on advisors was published: Dominik Büschken/Alheydis Plassmann (edd.), Die Figur des Ratgebers in transkultureller Perspektive (Studien zu Macht und Herrschaft 6), Göttingen 2020.

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