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A Theory of Militant DemocracyThe Ethics of Combatting Political Extremism$
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Alexander S. Kirshner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300188240

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300188240.001.0001

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(p.1) One Introduction
A Theory of Militant Democracy

Alexander S. Kirshner

Yale University Press

This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to outline a principled framework for grappling with popular opposition to representative government. The framework allows the diagnosis of challenges raised by internal threats to democracy; it also sheds light on how these problems might be met in ways that are, to the greatest degree possible, consistent with our reasons for embracing self-government. The chapter also explores an alternative approach for thinking about threats to representative regimes—one that focuses on the democracy-preserving potential of judicial review. An examination of this alternative model will help define the nature of the challenge posed by antidemocrats and the kinds of questions a theory of militant democracy ought to answer.

Keywords:   democracy, representative government, self-government, judicial review, antidemocratic movements

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