Monday 23 August 2010

Militant Democracy, Religion, and the ECtHR

Patrick Macklem of the University of Toronto has posted 'Guarding the Perimeter: Militant Democracy and Religious Freedom in Europe' on SSRN. It covers the case law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the religion-state nexus. This is the abstract:

This essay tracks the concept of militant democracy in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, where it has migrated from a principle that authorizes a state to act in a militant manner to preserve democratic processes to one that entitles a state to establish perimeters and guard against threats of a different kind. Militant democracy now authorizes a state to assume a militant stance toward the exercise of religious freedom that threatens substantive conceptions of democracy instantiated in its constitutional order. The essay identifies four substantive conceptions of democracy – liberal democracy, secular democracy, republican democracy, and conservative democracy – to which militant democracy has migrated in recent years. It argues that militant democracy’s migration signals an ominous shift in the way in which the European Court of Human Rights comprehends the relationship between religion and state power.