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

  • Matthijs BogaardsEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)


Consociational democracies seek to pacify societal divisions through political inclusion and compromise. Militant democracies seek to neutralize threats to democracy and liberal values by excluding anti-system parties from power. As one type of democracy 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 boycotted the Flemish and francophone extreme-right parties. This chapter is the first to examine the phenomenon of “militant consociational democracy”, tracing its historical roots and considering its implications.


Consociationalism Extreme right Militant democracy Political party ban Belgium Federalism Language Deliberative democracy Compromise Immigration 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceCentral European UniversityBudapestHungary

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