In 2003, Spain banned the political party Herri Batasuna and its successors Euskal Herritarrok and Batasuna for integration in the Basque separatist terrorist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna. Since then, eleven other parties or electoral groupings deemed successors to the illegal parties have also been banned. The party bans in Spain highlight weaknesses in leading theoretical accounts of proscription and democratic responses to extremism, weaknesses that are symptomatic of broader problems with the paradigmatic concept of ‘militant democracy’. More specifically, closer examination of the Spanish case illustrates an error of classification in Fox and Nolte’s (2000) distinction between ‘tolerant’ and ‘intolerant’ democracies, but also suggests a strategy for responding to a more fundamental problem of internal inconsistency in their model.
Journal of Comparative Law, 2012, Vol 7, Issue 1, p. 196-213
proscription; party bans; militant democracy; Batasuna; Spain