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New book on Ruler Personality Cults by two AIAS Fellows

A joint book project born at AIAS by former Fellows Kirill Postoutenko and Darin Stephanov has now been published: 'Ruler Personality Cults from Empires to Nation-states and Beyond: Symbolic Patterns and Interactional Dynamics'.

2020.10.15 | Lena Bering

Image: book cover

The book Ruler Personality Cults from Empires to Nation-states and Beyond: Symbolic Patterns and Interactional Dynamics is edited by AIAS Former Fellows Kirill Postoutenko and Darin Stephanov, and is a result of their chance meeting, but subsequent collaboration during their fellowship time at AIAS. The book is published as part of the Routledge series ‘Studies in Modern history’.

The book encompasses five continents and twenty centuries, and puts ruler personality cults on the crossroads of disciplines that are rarely, if ever, juxtaposed. Among the contributing authors are historians, linguists, media scholars, political scientists and communication sociologists from Europe, the United States and New Zealand.

This breadth and versatility of the book publication are not goals in themselves. Rather, they are the means to work out an integrated approach to personality cults, capable of overcoming both the dominance of much-discussed 20th century poster examples (Bolshevism-Nazism-Fascism) and the lack of interest in the related practices of leader adoration in religious and cultural contexts.

Instead of reiterating the understandable but unfruitful fixation on rulers as the cults’ focal points, the authors focus on communicative patterns and interactional chains linking rulers with their subjects. In this light, the adoration of political figures is seen as a collective enterprise impossible without active, if often tacit, collaboration between rulers and their constituencies.  

More about the book

Ruler Personality Cults from Empires to Nation-states and Beyond: Symbolic Patterns and Interactional Dynamics by Kirill Postoutenko and Darin Stephanov. Routledge: Routledge Studies in Modern history, 2020.

Contact

Kirill Postoutenko, AIAS Former Fellow, Professor
kirill.postoutenko@uni-bielefeld.de 

Senior Researcher
University of Bielefeld
Germany

Darin Stephanov, AIAS Former Fellow, Post doc
Guest Researcher at Islamic Cultures and Societies Research Unit
Aarhus University
Denmark    

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