The following outline provides an overview of and topical guide to democracy.
Democracy – A form of government in which people have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows people to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws.
Nature of democracy
- Main article: Democracy
Democracy can be described as a(n):
- Institution – structure or mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given human community. Institutions are identified with a social purpose and permanence, transcending individual human lives and intentions, and with the making and enforcing of rules governing cooperative human behavior.
Types of democracy
- Anticipatory democracy – relies on some degree of disciplined and usually market-informed anticipation of the future, to guide major decisions.
- Bioregional democracy – matches geopolitical divisions to natural ecological regions.
- Cellular democracy – type of democracy developed by economist Fred E. Foldvary, based on multi-level bottom-up structure based on either small neighborhood governmental districts or contractual communities.
- Consensus democracy – democratic rule based on consensus rather than traditional majority rule.
- Constitutional democracy – democracy governed by a constitution.
- Defensive democracy – situation in which a democratic society has to limit some rights and freedoms in order to protect the institutions of the democracy.
- Delegative democracy – a form of democratic control whereby voting power is vested in self-selected delegates, rather than elected representatives.
- Deliberative democracy – Democracy in which authentic deliberation, not only voting, is central to legitimate decision making. It adopts elements of both consensus decision-making and majority rule.
- Demarchy – has people randomly selected from the citizenry through sortition to either act as general governmental representatives or to make decisions in specific areas of governance (defense, environment, etc.)
- Democratic centralism – organizational method where members of a political party discuss and debate matters of policy and direction and after the decision is made by majority vote, all members are expected to follow that decision in public.
- Democratic dictatorship (also known as democratur) –
- Democratic republic – republic which has democracy through elected representatives
- Direct democracy (classically termed pure democracy) – A type of democracy where the people govern directly.
- E-democracy – comprises the use of electronic communications technologies, such as the Internet, in enhancing democratic processes within a democratic republic or representative democracy.
- Athenian democracy (also classical democracy) – a direct democracy developed in ancient times in the Greek city-state of Athens
- Economic democracy – theory of democracy involving people having access to subsistence, or equity in living standards.
- Emergent democracy – social system in which blogging undermines mainstream media.
- Grassroots democracy – emphasizes trust in small decentralized units at the municipal government level, possibly using urban secession to establish the formal legal authority to make decisions made at this local level binding.
- Illiberal democracy – has weak or no limits on the power of the elected representatives to rule as they please.
- Industrial democracy –
- Interactive Democracy – proposed form of democracy utilising information technology to allow citizens to propose new policies, "second" proposals and vote on the resulting laws (that are refined by Parliament) in a referendum.
- Intra-Party Democracy – democratic process within a single-party state government. This debated among scholars if the Chinese Communist Party resemble this process during leadership transitions.
- Jeffersonian democracy – named after American statesman Thomas Jefferson, who believed in equality of political opportunity (for male citizens), and opposed to privilege, aristocracy and corruption.
- Liberal democracy – representative democracy with protection for individual liberty and property by rule of law.
- Market democracy – another name for democratic capitalism, an economic ideology based on a tripartite arrangement of a market-based economy based predominantly on economic incentives through free markets, a democratic polity and a liberal moral-cultural system which encourages pluralism.
- Multiparty democracy – two-party system requires voters to align themselves in large blocs, sometimes so large that they cannot agree on any overarching principles.
- New Democracy – Maoist concept based on Mao Zedong's "Bloc of Four Classes" theory in post-revolutionary China.
- Non-partisan democracy – system of representative government or organization such that universal and periodic elections (by secret ballot) take place without reference to political parties.
- Open Democratic – system where the public decides how they should be governed and having power to continuously improving the system.
- Organic democracy – democracy where the ruler holds a considerable amount of power but, their rule benefits the people. First used by supporters of Bonapartism
- Participatory democracy – involves more lay citizen participation decision making and offers greater political representation than traditional representative democracy, e.g., wider control of proxies others trust them with, to those who get directly involved and actually participate.
- Popular democracy – a type of direct democracy based on referendums and other devices of empowerment and concretization of popular will.
- Radical democracy – type of democracy that focuses on the importance of nurturing and tolerating difference and dissent in decision-making processes.
- Representative democracy – indirect democracy where sovereignty is held by the people's representatives.
- Dominant-party system – democratic party system where only one political party can realistically become the government, by itself or in a coalition government.
- Parliamentary democracy – democratic system of government where the executive branch of a parliamentary government is typically a cabinet, and headed by a prime minister who is considered the head of government.
- Westminster democracy – parliamentary system of government modeled after that of the United Kingdom system.
- Jacksonian democracy – form of democracy popularized by President Andrew Jackson promoted the strength of the executive branch and the Presidency at the expense of Congressional power.
- Soviet democracy or Council democracy – form of democracy where the workers of a locality elect recallable representatives into organs of power called soviets (councils.) The local soviets elect the members of regional soviets who go on to elect higher soviets.
- Totalitarian democracy – system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government.
- Sociocracy – democratic system of governance based on consent decision making, circle organization, and double-linked representation.
- Religious democracy –
- Workplace democracy – application of democracy to the workplace.
- Election rules
- Elective rights – include eligibility (the right to run for office, that is, the right to be a candidate), and suffrage (the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process).
- Voting – a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion—often following discussions, debates, or election campaigns.
- Crossover voting – a behavior in which voters who normally participate in the primary of one party instead vote in the primary of another party.
- One vote one value – a legislative principle of democracy whereby each electorate has the same population within a specified percentage of variance.
- Right of foreigners to vote – voting rights extended to non-citizens.
- Suffrage – the right to vote gained through the democratic process.
- Voting system –
- Electoral fraud – illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. Also called voter fraud, the mechanisms involved include illegal voter registration, intimidation at polls and improper vote counting. What electoral fraud is under law varies from country to country.
- Show election – election that is held purely for show, that is, without any significant political purpose. Show elections are a common event in dictatorial regimes that still feel the need to establish some element of public legitimacy. Also known as a "sham election" or "rubber stamp election".
- Redistricting –
- Gerrymandering – manipulating geographic boundaries of electoral districts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group in the form of partisan or incumbent-protected districts.
- Sortition – selection of decision makers by lottery. The decision-makers are chosen as a random sample from a larger pool of candidates. Also known as allotment or the drawing of lots.
- Types of elections
- Elections by country –
- Elections by date –
History of democracy
- Main article: History of democracy
Criticism of democracy
Criticism of democracy includes charges that democracy is either economically inefficient, politically idealistic, or morally corrupt.
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