In the dictionary definition, democracy 'is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.'
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government 'of the people, by the people, and for the people.' There is no clear - cut, universal definition of democracy. Most definitions of democracy focus on qualities, procedures, and institutions.
There are many types of democracy and their varied practices produce similarly varied effects. Following are the varied definition of democracy.
'Democracy comes from the Greek words demos meaning 'People' and kratos meaning 'authority' or 'power.'' - government whichis conducted with the freely given consent of people. - 'a system of government in which supreme authority lies with the people.'
'Rule by the people in a country directly or by representation.' 'The form of government in which political control exercised by all the people, either directly or through their elected representative.' The word 'democracy' itself means 'rule by the people. 'A democracy is a system where people can change their rulers in a peaceful manner and the government is given the right to rule because the people say it may.
The history of democracy is not a slow steady advance, in the view of political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, but a succession of waves that have advanced, receded, then rolled in and crested again. Huntington identifies three historical or 'long waves' of democracy.
The first began in the early 19th century with the extension of the right to vote to a large proportion of the male population in the United States, and continued until the 1920s. During this period, some 29 democracies came into being.
The flow, or reversal, of the first wave began in 1922 with the accession of Mussolini to power in Italy and lasted until 1942, when the number of the world's democracies had been reduced to 12.
A second wave began with the triumph of the Allies in World War II, I 1945 when the number of democracies had risen to 36. The flow of the second wave between 1962 and the mid - 1970s brought it back down to 30.
Since 1974, however, democracy's third wave has approximately led to the emergence of democracies to double.
Huntington writes, 'Economic development makes democracy possible; political leadership makes it real.'
Huntington is of the view that the ebbing of democracy's third wave is always possible, he concludes, possibly followed by a fourth wave sometime in the 21st century.
Democracies fall into two categories.
1. Direct democracy's