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Militant Democracy and Its Critics

Populism, Parties, Extremism

Edited by Anthoula Malkopoulou, Alexander Kirshner

Hardback (Forthcoming)

Should representative governments restrict the democratic rights of their extremist opponents?

  • The first edited collection to boast an international group of political scientists, legal scholars and philosophers debating the urgent question of how to combat anti-democratic extremism
  • Asks whether it is permissable for representative governments to restrict the democratic rights of their extremist opponents
  • Argues both for and against militant democracy – policies that pre-emptively restrict the rights of antidemocratic movements

Militant Democracy refers to the defensive policies democracies use to respond to antidemocratic movements. Can defensive efforts that curtail rights of participation be consistent with democratic values? In this collection of essays, scholars from across politics, philosophy and law address the unresolved practical and theoretical questions concerning democracy and extremism. The collection provides an update to a key contemporary debate in democratic theory and asks us to reconsider the potential promise and costs of militant democracy.

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Introduction: Militant democracy and its critics
Anthoula Malkopoulou

1. Individual militant democracy
Jan Werner Müller

2. Democratic equality and militant democracy
Peter Stone

3. Militant democracy defended
Alexander Kirshner

4. Militant democracy versus populism
Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser

5. Three models of democratic self-defence
Anthoula Malkopoulou and Ludvig Norman

6. Resolving the paradox of tolerance
Stefan Rummens

7. Militant democracy and the study of political tolerance
Giovanni Capoccia

8. The EU defending liberal democracy in a liberal democratic way
Tore Vincents Olsen and Anne Damkjaer-Barsoe

9. Militant democracy and the detection problem
Bastiaan Rijpkema

10. Militant constitutionalism
András Sajó

11. Militant democracy as an inherent quality of a democratic state
Svetlana Tyulkina


About the Author

Anthoula Malkopoulou is Docent and Lecturer at the Department of Government, Uppsala University. She has been a Marie Curie Fellow at the same department and a visiting fellow at the Faculty of Arts Program ‘Engaging Vulnerability’. She has also held research positions at Princeton University, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study and the University of Jyväskylä. Malkopoulou is the author of The History of Compulsory Voting in Europe (Routledge, 2015) and co-editor of Equality and Representation (Routledge: 2018).

Alexander Kirshner is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. He was Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Fellow at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, 2015–16. His is the author of A Theory of Militant Democracy (Yale University Press 2014) and co-editor of Political Representation (Cambridge University Press 2010).

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