Krytyka Prawa. Niezależne studia nad prawem

On Political Impotence: How Liberal Democracy Becomes Militant, and Its Demos Becomes Impotent

Eijkelenberg, Ursus

University of Manchester

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Research into liberal democracy’s self-preserving quality is usually confined to the notion ‘militant democracy’ and focuses mainly on the specific instruments the political system employs to challenge its adversaries and bolster its structure. This paper takes a different approach to understanding liberal democracy’s self-preservation. It challenges the boundaries of the dominant concept by exploring consolidative tendencies in a more general and comprehensive fashion, focusing on gradual political – and legal-evolutionary developments that contribute to the solidification of the political system. On that basis, a critical follow-up question is posed: what are the implications of these consolidative endeavours? By highlighting ‘political impotence’ and its destabilizing effects as one of more socio-political implications, the paper suggests that the self-preserving vigour of liberal democracy might turn out to be counterproductive, and that the crisis which liberal democracy is now experiencing does not occur in spite of but rather because of its self-preserving characteristics.


Journal Krytyka Prawa. Niezależne studia nad prawem 
Volume 11 
Issue 1 
Issue date 2019 
Type Article 
Language en
Pagination 164-190
DOI 10.7206/kp.2080-1084.281
ORCID Eijkelenberg, U.: 0000-0001-7081-4112
ISSN 2080-1084
eISSN 2450-7938