Democracy is a system involving effective competition between political parties for positions of power.
Originally conceived by the Greeks
Kratia rule of people
Democracy as rule by the people.
3 Why is democracy significant Democracy as second best
Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time Sir Winston Churchill Hansard November 11th 1947.
For Aristotle in the Politics the best form of government was monarchy if the monarch was a virtuous person. Aristocracy (literally rule by the best) was a close second but again only if those who governed were virtuous.
Aristotle proposes polity or constitutional government as the best form of government certainly in practical terms.
4 Why is democracy significant Democratic governance as the norm.
Huntington (199116) defines three waves of democratization since the mid 19th century
First wave of democratization (18281926)
First reverse wave (19221942)
Second wave of democratization (19431962)
Second reverse wave (19581975)
Third wave of democratization (1974
5 Defining Democracy key issues
Three key questions to consider
Is democracy simply a matter of choosing a government
Does democracy imply certain types of policy
Does democracy ensure certain standards of living for its citizens
Schumpeter defines democracy as a system for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the peoples vote.
Dahls concept of POLYARCHY (opposition participation and civil liberty) elaborates on Schumpeters definition.
6 Democratic Theory
Direct Democracy (e.g. Jean Jacques Rousseau).
Representative/Liberal Democracy (e.g. John Stuart Mill and John Locke).
Pluralist Democracy (e.g. Joseph Schumpeter and Robert Dahl).
7 Direct Democracy
Emphasises the role of the citizen.
Equal rights duties and engagement of all citizens.
The rule of the majority (at the expense of minority rights).
8 Representative/Liberal Democracy
Democracy as a form of social contract (Locke).
Government as Leviathon (Hobbes).
Utilitarianism and focus on the common good (Mill).
Representative government and accountability.
9 Pluralist Democracy
Particularly associated with post-war era.
Focus on elite groups.
Representation of the people through competition of competing elite groups.
Robert Dahl (1971) Polyarchy Participation and Opposition.
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