Militant Consociational Democracy: The Political Exclusion of the Extreme-Right in Belgium

Date: 11 October 2019

Venue: Stadscampus, Aula R.014 - Building R, Rodestraat 14 - 2000 Antwerp (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Short description: Opening lecture Department of Political Science by Prof Matthijs Bogaards

About the lecture

Consociational democracies seek to pacify societal divisions through political inclusion and power sharing. Militant democracies seek to neutralize threats to democracy and liberal values by excluding anti-system parties from power. As one is based on inclusion and the other on exclusion, militant consociational democracy would seem a contradiction in terms. However, Belgium presents just this perplexing combination of features. The same parties that work together across the country’s linguistic divisions in an elaborate consociational federation have systematically excluded the main Flemish and Francophone extreme-right parties. This paper is the first to examine the phenomenon of “militant consociational democracy”, tracing its historical roots and offering an explanation grounded in sociological institutionalism.

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