Democracy [addendum] - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Democracy [addendum]

It is widely agreed that democracy is a system of gov-ernment in which the people rule. Since the term "democracy" is often also used to describe nonpolitical communities—such as religious congregations, clubs, and athletic teams—democracy may be understood more generally to be a system in which the community is governed through the participation of its members. Thoroughly understanding democracy therefore requires answers to five key questions about this process of participation: What does democracy presuppose? What are the principal instruments that democracies must employ? What conditions are critical for its success? How can democracies be appraised? How can democracy be theoretically defended?

Presuppositions of Democracy

For a democracy to be realized in any context, the community to be governed must self-consciously recognize itself as such, those entitled to participate in its government must be identified as citizens or members, and...

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This section contains 1,787 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Democracy [addendum] Encyclopedia Article
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Democracy [addendum] from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.