Concluding Remarks

  • Joost AugusteijnEmail author
  • Constant Hijzen
  • Mark Leon de Vries
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political History book series (PSPH)


The conclusion shows that definitions of democracy intertwined with discussions about the perceived adversary are never fixed. It identifies three phases in the way the concept of democracy and legitimate action are defined, and shows that defenders and adversaries never hold immutable positions, as their rhetoric and conceptualisation of what democracy is develop in response to one another. It further discusses the way democracies can be threatened from the inside and how the use of force continues to be a vital element for all involved, concluding that those holding real power to a large extent determine the definitions of what is democratic and what is not, thereby drawing some lessons for the present from the past.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joost Augusteijn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Constant Hijzen
    • 2
  • Mark Leon de Vries
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for HistoryLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Institute for History and Institute of Security and Global AffairsLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Independent ResearcherAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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