Introduction: Democracy, the Nation State, and Their Adversaries

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


The introduction traces the historic relationship between democratic states and those who strive for the abolition of the existing system. It discusses the answers given to the question how far democracies could and should go to protect themselves from what they perceive as anti-democratic groups and organisations in their midst. It is observed that both the contending groups, the adversaries and the defenders of the existing democratic order, lay claim to some form of democracy as their source of legitimacy. It is argued that in this confrontation the definition of the concept of democracy becomes fluid. Where traditionally political scientists have addressed these issues at a theoretical level, this volume provides a historical exploration of the issue.

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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