This article assesses recent normative theorizing on militant democracy—the idea that, to protect themselves, democracies might under some circumstances have to restrict the rights of those set on undermining or outright destroying democracy. Particular attention is paid to new justifications of militant democracy that seek to avoid the danger of militant democracy itself damaging democracy, as well as to the question of who the agent deciding on implementing militant democracy ought to be. Three new challenges for thinking about militant democracy are identified: certain forms of religious belief and practice, new varieties of authoritarianism that include elections and some limited freedoms, and the question of whether international and supranational institutions can play a role in protecting democracies.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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