German “Militant Democracy”: A Solution to or a Step Towards Democratic Erosion?

German ‘militant democracy’ is sometimes regarded as a possible solution to recent authoritarian tendencies in democracies. The doctrine makes it possible to ban political parties, associations, monitor political groups etc. However, rather than offering a solution, these capacities of state authorities might breed authoritarian effects of their own. The paper will ask how Germany – and other countries – should deal with this well-known dilemma. The question has come under renewed scrutiny because of the recent rise of the far-right AfD party. The paper will evaluate, among others, whether the AfD should be monitored by domestic intelligence services as an alternative to a party ban.