Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Historical Perspectives on Democracies and their Adversaries

This book, edited by Joost Augusteijn, Constant Hijzen and Mark Leon de Vries, explores how democratic regimes have dealt with anti-democratic forces in society, from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century.

Joost Augusteijn, Constant Hijzen, Mark Leon de Vries (eds.)
13 September 2019
More information at Palgrave.com

Joost Augusteijn, Constant Hijzen and Mark Leon de Vries developed the theme and this book is a result of a conference they organized in 2016 on the same topic. The book itself takes a historical rather than a theoretical approach to show how the state and oppositional groups have interacted across a wide range of case studies and it argues that these threats to democracy and the actions taken against anti-democratic groups have elicited new definitions of democracy within society. Constant Hijzen authored the chapter "The Seeds of Danger: The Security Service and Its 'Enemy Image' of 'The Movement' in the 1980s".

About this book

This book historicizes the debate over how democratic regimes deal with anti-democratic groupings in society. Democracies across the world increasingly find themselves under threat from enemies, ranging from terrorists to parties and movements that undermine democratic institutions from within. This compilation of essays provides the first historical exploration of how democracies have dealt with such anti-democratic forces in their midst and how this impacted upon what democracy meant to all involved. From its inception in the nineteenth century, modern democratic politics has included fundamental debates over whether it is undemocratic and dangerous to ban parties with anti-democratic objectives and whether democracies should defend themselves, if necessary with violence, against perceived anti-democratic forces. This volume shows that implicit conceptions of democracy and democratic repertoires become explicit, fluid, and contested throughout these confrontations, not only within democratic parties, but also among their adversaries. Both sides have, at times, used force or limited the expression of ideas, thus blurring the lines between who is democratic and who is not.

This website uses cookies.  More information.