Democracy - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 12 pages of information about Democracy.
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Conditions of Political Democracy

Obviously, the conditions of face-to-face democracy, with direct participation, cannot be fulfilled within the political structure of modern states, both because of the size of their populations and because of the specialized knowledge needed to govern them. So although everyone may agree on what makes a small group democratic, when it comes to applying the concept to mass organizations, there is plenty of room for different interpretations of the principles to be applied and of the way to realize them under these very different conditions. Democracy now becomes representative government, that is, government by persons whom the people elect and thereby authorize to govern them.

Election and representation are themselves complex notions, however. In one sense, to be representative of a group may mean no more than to possess salient characteristics common to and distinctive of most of its members. In another, quasi-legal sense, one...

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This section contains 3,552 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Democracy Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Democracy from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.