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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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Political Regulation in Defense of Democracy

Political Regulation in Defense of Democracy

(p.61) Three Political Regulation in Defense of Democracy
A Theory of Militant Democracy

Alexander S. Kirshner

Yale University Press

This chapter applies the self-limiting framework to cases in which relatively small groups of antidemocrats exercise their political rights in a manner that infringes on other citizens' ability to participate. It explores a situation in which the British National Party used internal party regulations to exclude nonwhite British citizens from the organization. It defends two claims. First, democrats should use the background institutions of representative democracy to discourage antidemocratic action. Second, it argues that democrats will have greater success crafting normatively attractive militant policies if they carefully consider who the appropriate subjects of defensive action are. Rather than treating all parties and all participants as if they play the same role in the democratic process, regulations will generate the least normative harm when they focus on influential parties and influential political entrepreneurs.

Keywords:   self-limiting framework, antidemocrats, political rights, British National Party, democrats

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