Emerged as a direct form of
democracy in Ancient Greece. Athens was the first city to introduce such a
democracy. Direct democracy in Athens emerged in between 800-500
BCE (Before Common Era). In Athenian direct democracy, the citizens of the
city-state are all as members of the assembly, who participated directly in the
decision making and the process of legislation. Given the limited population
they were able to gather in the city square and were able to deliberate. All
citizens were free to express their different opinions, debate, and vote in a
system directly and this was called as Classical Democracy.
As population increased, the idea of representation
in government was proposed. It resulted in the elected representatives
participating in the governing process. Gradually it created institutions like
the Assembly of the Demos, the Council, and the People’s Court as the three
important pillars of democracy. Classical democracy for its success should have
The community must be small
enough for citizens to be proficient in attending debates and voting on issues;
b) the economy of the state should be sufficient for enabling the citizens to
engage in politics. The principles of classical democracy are mentioned below:
The chief political ideals were
equality among all people, liberty and respect for law and justice.
Equality before law and equal
treatment of law enabled justice to prevail in almost all the spheres of
society. Political life was free and open.
The main subject of classical democracy was the
participation of all peoples in the processes of state. Classical democracy was
to bring equality among citizens in respect of rights and privileges.
As Classical Democracy grew it began to take shape
into protective democracy in Athens which was by the emphasis on different
aspects of classical democracy. In this viewpoint, democracy has been regarded
as a means at the disposal of individuals which they can use to safeguard their
rights and liberties. Protective democracy as a Rights-based democracy emerged in
the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries placing it as an instrument
of protecting human rights and liberties. The English thinker John
(1631-1704) was regarded as the great advocate of protective
democracy. Locke argued that the citizen’s freedom and right to vote was
based on the existence of natural rights characterized by Life, Liberty and
Protective Democracy was proposed by English
thinkers Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) James Mill 1773-1836) and John
Stuart Mill(1806-1873) of the Utilitarian School of Democracy and
Rights. Utilitarianism was powerfully advocated in favour of protective
democracy. The theme of utilitarianism was to safeguard rights, liberty and
opportunity as they were the basic principles of democracy. Safeguarding the
rights was the safeguard of democracy.
Jeremy Bentham, James Mill and John
Stuart Mill emphasized that democracy alone could safeguard all
individual rights and interests through the mandate of the people who could be
protected and advanced. John Locke, James Madison, Jeremy Bentham and
James Mills-supported the Rights based protective democracy as
an aspect of liberal democracy. The following are the basic features of
believes in popular sovereignty.
Both the popular
sovereignty and representative form of government are
It is the primary
duty of the state to protect the rights nd liberties of citizens.
The authority is
accountable to the People and in order to establish it elections are held on regular
Separation of the
Legislature, Executive and Judiciary are the most important means of protecting the
rights, liberties and the distribution of privileges.
introduction of rights-based protective democracy brought in the idea of constitutionalism
that governed the ruler and the ruled by the principles laid down in
constitution. The Constitution is the sole source of power for all and is the
guarantor of rights and liberties. Legal provisions in the constitutions were
introduced to protect, individual rights, rights of associations and groups
against any violation of rights or encroachment on liberty on behalf of
citizens. This brought in a competition among the Legislature, Executive and
Judiciary in all spheres for the strengthening of protective democracy.It
resulted in a clear distinction between state and civil society.