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Titular ruler

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Titular ruler

A titular ruler, or titular head, is a person in an official position of leadership who possesses few, if any, actual powers.[1] Sometimes a person may inhabit a position of titular leadership and yet exercise more power than would normally be expected, as a result of their corporation.

Etymology

Titular is formed from a combination of the Latin titulus (title) and the English suffix -ar,[2] which means "of or belonging to." [3]

Development

In most parliamentary democracies today, the Head of State has either evolved into, or was created as, a position of titular leadership. In the former case, the leader may often have significant powers listed within the state's constitution, but is no longer able to exercise them, due to historical changes within that country. In the latter case, it is often made clear within the document that the leader is intended to be powerless. Heads of State who inhabit positions of titular leadership are usually regarded as symbols of the people they "lead."

Examples

  • The Presidents of both Israel and Germany have largely ceremonial duties and are regarded as titular leaders.

Not to be confused with

A common confusion is with the word and concept eponym. This means that an institution, object, location, artefact, etc., takes its name or title from the particular person. So, for example, Simon Bolivar is not the titular ruler of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, but its eponym.

References

  1. ^
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