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What Are the Definitions of Democracy

The strength of true democracy depends on certain fundamental rights and freedoms. These rights and freedoms must be protected to ensure the success of a democracy. In many countries, these rights are enshrined and protected by a constitution. The constitution also defines the structures and functions of government. It contains guidelines for the enactment of other laws. It is usually protected from change by the whim of a particular government, by requiring a special majority before a clause can be changed, or by presenting changes to voters by referendum. Democracy, together with human rights and the rule of law, is one of the fundamental values of the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe has a number of programmes and publications dealing with the improvement and future of democracy. In 2005, the Forum for the Future of Democracy was launched by the Third Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Council of Europe. The aim of the forum is to “strengthen democracy, political freedoms and citizen participation through the exchange of ideas, information and examples of good practice”. Each year, a meeting of the Forum takes place, bringing together some 400 participants from the 47 member states of the Council of Europe and observer states.

In retrospect, various political regimes outside declared democracies have been described as proto-democratic (see History of Democracy). According to its supporters, any attempt to solve global problems is undemocratic without any form of cosmopolitan democracy. The general principle of cosmopolitan democracy is to extend some or all of the values and norms of democracy, including the rule of law; non-violent conflict resolution; and equality among citizens, beyond the borders of the State. To be fully implemented, this would require reforming existing international organizations, for example the United Nations, as well as the creation of new institutions such as a world parliament, which, ideally, would improve public oversight and accountability in international politics. The war was followed by decolonization, and again most newly independent states had nominally democratic constitutions. India has become and continues to become the world`s largest democracy. [115] Countries that were once part of the British Empire often adopted the British Westminster system. [116] [117] In recent years, there has been concern about the status of democracy, perhaps particularly in more established democracies. This is largely due to the decline in citizen participation in elections, indicating a lack of citizen interest and participation.

Low voter turnout calls into question the legitimacy of so-called democratically elected governments, which in some countries are in fact elected by a minority of the entire electorate. A liberal democracy is a representative democracy in which the ability of elected representatives to exercise decision-making power is governed by the rule of law and tempered by a constitution or laws that emphasize the protection of the rights and freedoms of individuals and the extent to which the will of the majority can be exercised against the rights of minorities. (see Civil Liberties). There is no clear and universal definition of democracy. Most definitions of democracy focus on qualities, procedures and institutions. There are many types of democracies, and their different practices have equally different effects. The learner`s understanding, experiences and beliefs, as well as the history their country has gone through, must be taken into account to create a meaningful and practical definition for their daily life. Robert A. Dahl argues that the basic democratic principle is that every person in a political community, when it comes to binding collective decisions, has the right to have their interests equally taken into account (not necessarily that all people are equally satisfied by the collective decision). He uses the term polyarchy to refer to societies in which there is a certain set of institutions and procedures that are perceived to lead to such a democracy. First, these institutions regularly hold free and open elections, during which representatives are chosen who then administer all or most of society`s public policy.

However, these polyarchic procedures may not create a full democracy if, for example, poverty prevents political participation. [132] Similarly, Ronald Dworkin argues that “democracy is a substantive ideal, not a purely procedural one.” [133] Several justifications for democracy have been postulated. “Democracy”. Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy. Retrieved 14 January 2022. The following types of democracy are not mutually exclusive: many specify aspects that are independent of each other and can coexist in a single system. Socialist thought has different views on democracy. Social democracy, democratic socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat (usually exercised by Soviet democracy) are some examples. Many democratic socialists and social democrats believe in a form of participatory, industrial, economic and/or corporate democracy combined with representative democracy. The term “democracy” is sometimes used as an abbreviation for liberal democracy, which is a variant of representative democracy that may include elements such as political pluralism; equality before the law; the right to petition elected officials to resolve complaints; due process; Fundamental freedoms; Human rights; and elements of civil society outside government. [ref. needed] Roger Scruton argues that democracy alone cannot ensure personal and political freedom without the institutions of civil society.

[18] This year, Thomas Piketty raised the major issues of democracy and inequality.