Is Spain becoming a militant democracy? Empirical evidence from Freedom House Reports

Przemysław Osiewicz, Maciej Skrzypek


Militant democracy can be seen as a useful theoretical category. Its main objective is to preserve the regime by eliminating its opponents through the legal means. They may affect fundamental civil rights and freedoms including freedom of the press. There are two objectives of the article. The first is to determine the differences between the declaratory level, based on national legislation and legal acts adopted between 2008-2017, and actual level of freedom of the press in Spain, based on press freedom status presented in reports of Freedom House. This comparison will provide an answer to the question if Spain is becoming a militant democracy or not. The second objective is to explain the reasons for these differences as well as to formulate conclusions related to the adoption of the attributes of militant democracies by Spain with special reference to freedom of the press.

The main hypothesis reads as follows: legislative changes referring to the functioning of the media in the form of national legislation affected the indicator value of the press freedom status in Spain presented by Freedom House. This dynamic proves that elements of militant democracy are being implemented into the Spanish political system.

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