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Exploring Democracy, Democratic Consolidation and Democratisation

In: Science

Submitted By Hamzlee
Words 3633
Pages 15
The essence of this essay is to explore democracy, democratic consolidation and democratization. It further explains why democratization takes different ‘flight trajectories’ in different developing countries.

It is difficult to reach a consensus on the definition of democracy. However, the main idea of democracy is widely accepted to have originated from Athens in the 5th century BC. The Webster New Encyclopedic Dictionary (1995) defines democracy as a government in which supreme power is invested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through representation. According to Lindel, and Scott (1999), the term originates from the Greek word (demokratia) which simply means “rule of the people” and it was coined from (demos) “people” and (kratos) “power” or “rule” in the 5th century B.C. It is important to note that the political system postulated by the Athenians was such that democratic citizenship was exclusive to an elite class of free men only. Slaves and women were excluded from participation.

Furthermore, in a lecture titled “What is Democracy”? Diamond (2004) gave an overview of what in his opinion is democracy. He describes democracy as a system of government with four key elements: a system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens; and a rule of law in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens. Popper as cited in Javie (2006) defines democracy in contrast to dictatorship or tyranny. He places emphasis on the availability of opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to them without recourse to a revolution. Popper’s view must have hinged on the fact that there are many variants of democracy today. The most dominant variable is what he terms the…...

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