Democratic Dilemmas

Democratic Dilemmas : Why democracies ban political parties

By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available soon, pre-order now.
When will my order arrive?

106 days to go
Pre-order Add to wishlist


This book examines how citizens, governments and courts in democratic states resolve dilemmas posed by anti-system parties or, more specifically, the question of why democracies ban political parties. On the one hand, party bans are purportedly designed to 'protect' democracies, usually from groups deemed to undermine the democratic system, challenge core democratic values, territorial integrity or state security. At the same time, democracies that ban parties - entities whose representatives are, at least in theory, elected to represent citizens in the political arena - simultaneously challenge their own foundational commitments to political pluralism, tolerance and rights to free speech and association. Through an examination of the various measures used to respond to such parties, this book probes the deliberative processes, discursive strategies and power politics employed when democratic communities negotiate inherent tensions in foundational commitments to tolerance and pluralism. With reference to empirical case studies of both contemporary and historical anti-system party bans in Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany, this book is the first attempt to examine in a systematic and comparative manner the question of why democracies ban parties and provides a political perspective in a literature largely dominated by law and political philosophy. This book will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the areas of European Politics, Democracy Studies, Party Politics and Comparative more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 156 x 234mm
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1138898015
  • 9781138898011

About Angela K. Bourne

Angela K. Bourne is a lecturer at the University of Roskilde, Denmarkshow more

Table of contents

Introduction: Pluralism, tolerance and the proscription of political parties 1. Liberal democracies and the proscription of political parties 1945-2013 2. Theorising Party Bans: From 'militant democracy' to the 'securitization' of anti-system parties 3. Proscription regimes and veto players 4. Spain: To ban or not to ban Batasuna? 5. The United Kingdom: Sinn Fein, proscription and the path from pariah to privileged interlocutor 6. Germany: 'Militant democracy', democratisation and fighting the contemporary far right 7. Conclusionshow more