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 democracy

Democracy (Greek: δημοκρατία dēmokratía, literally "rule of the people"), in modern usage, is a system of government in which the citizens exercise power directly or elect representatives from among themselves to form a governing body, such as a parliament. Democracy is sometimes referred to as "rule of the majority". Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes.


The uncertainty of outcomes is inherent in Democracy, which makes all forces struggle repeatedly for the realization of their interests, being the devolution of power from a group of people to a set of rules. Western Democracy, as distinct from that which existed in pre-modern societies, is generally considered to have originated in city states such as Classical Athens and the Roman Republic, where various schemes and degrees of enfranchisement of the free male population were observed before the form disappeared in the West at the beginning of late antiquity. The English word dates to the 16th century, from the older Middle French and Middle Latin equivalents.


According to political scientist Larry Diamond, Democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens; a rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.


The term appeared in the 5th century BC, to denote the political systems then existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens, to mean "rule of the people", in contrast to aristocracy (ἀριστοκρατία, aristokratía), meaning "rule of an elite". While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically. The political system of Classical Athens, for example, granted democratic citizenship to free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. In 1906, Finland became the first government to herald a more inclusive Democracy at the national level. In virtually all democratic governments throughout ancient and modern history, democratic citizenship consisted of an elite class until full enfranchisement was won for all adult citizens in most modern democracies through the suffrage movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.


Democracy contrasts with forms of government where power is either held by an individual, as in an absolute monarchy, or where power is held by a small number of individuals, as in an oligarchy. Nevertheless, these oppositions, inherited from Greek philosophy, are now ambiguous because contemporary governments have mixed democratic, oligarchic, and monarchic elements. Karl Popper defined Democracy in contrast to dictatorship or tyranny, thus focusing on opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for a revolution.

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updated Mon. April 23, 2018

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Trump in the White House, Orban in Hungary, the Law and Justice party in Poland, the AfD in Germany, Erdoğan in Turkey… It seems like the list of challenges to our democracies is worryingly extensive already. Time to act! And the area where one should act might surprise you: our companies. ...
As the United States and China face over trade -- and more systemically about the extent and practicality of pro-market reforms in the Middle Kingdom -- the commitment of President Xi Jinping and his government's commitment to Communist Party rule and a socialist-market economy has emerged as ... youth

The newspaper "is a responsible, objective medium here in our city," Hancock told CNN's Brian Stelter on "Reliable Sources" Sunday. "We've got to believe that it's important for democracy, and for those of us who depend on getting good information in our city, that it survives. And I believe that to my core.".
The most important development of our age has been the "Global Democratic Revolution." There were only 30 democracies in the world in 1975, according to Samuel Huntington's estimate in The Third Wave: Global Democratization in the Late 20th Century. By the time that important book was published ...
In light of the major speech French President Emmanuel Macron made to the European Parliament this week calling on fellow Europeans to "take the firm choice to defend democracy," it is worth looking at why Malta changed so dramatically. Most analyses of Macron's speech assumed he was talking ...

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday described his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, as a strong leader but one who carries an idea of democracy that "is not mine." "I think he's very strong man, he's a strong president," Macron said on "Fox News Sunday." "He wants a great Russia. ...
The Barnard Student Government Association's most recent referendum has been a flash point on Barnard's campus and beyond; op-eds have been penned by students of Barnard and Columbia, by alumni, and by strangers. Important questions have been raised about why and how SGA chose to hold ...
Don't tell the Founding Fathers... TODAY we trample sacred ground...trumpet a message of heresy...and offend the wrathful gods, writes Brian Maher, managing editor of Addison Wiggin's Daily Reckoning. In 2001, academic Hans-Hermann Hoppe scribbled a book bearing the soaring title Democracy: ...
National Book Award event at Concordia College Moorhead March 15, 2018 Erica Armstrong Dunbar (left), and author Nancy MacLean (right) talk about their work with NPR's John Ydstie during the National Book Award event at Concordia College in Moorhead. Courtesy of Concordia College Moorhead ...
Democracy is an illusion in Australia because, under the preferential voting system, government is effectively controlled by four major parties, ie Liberal, National, Labor and the Greens. Therefore the voting membership of those parties (less than one per cent of the Australian population) has total control ...
The very foundation of Pakistan is democracy. It came into being after the electoral victory of All India Muslim League in the 1945-46 election. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah believed in democracy and under his leadership Muslim League launched a peaceful and democratic struggle for the ...
From right-wing electoral wins in Germany, France and Austria to support for authoritarian leaders in the Phillippines, China, Japan and elsewhere, younger voters are said to have lost their support for democracy itself, opting instead for more expeditious, if authoritarian, forms of government. Since 2016 ...
She continues to fight for the policies she supports and to defend democracy, both in Brazil and internationally. Note: This event will be in Portuguese. Simultaneous translation will be available. Please RSVP for this event via Eventbrite and plan to arrive early. Any seats that are not filled by 5:50 p.m. on the ...
In a healthy democracy, there are competing sets of ideas. There are different visons of what kind of financial or political model might better suit a country. In the best of circumstances, these ideas are debated openly and, and this debate and compromise leads us to agreed solutions. Political parties sell ...
If we have laws and don't enforce them, while so many of our business and political elites cheer the lax enforcement, we are trading democracy for oligarchy. Illegal immigration corrodes the rule of law more than most lawbreaking. It creates subcultures and neighborhoods where families and communities ...

Once known officially as the Gold Coast because of its natural resource deposits, the nation has seemingly discovered something far more valuable than its mineral namesake: stable democracy. In doing so, democracy in Ghana has helped stabilize its institutions and develop its economy, providing ...
When a judge ordered Gov. Scott Walker to stop messing with Wisconsin democracy and order special elections to be held for a pair of vacant legislative seats, that should have been the end of the governor's lawless scheming to leave the 229,904 Wisconsinites who live in those districts unrepresented for ...
HYDERABAD: Pakistan People's Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Sunday that the “judicialisation” of politics was not good for democracy as institutions got weakened when they started interfering in one another's domain instead of doing their own job. He said that the judicial activism must be ...
The late political activist, Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who greatly inspired me (by walking across America in her 90th year to raise awareness about the influence of dark, corrupting money in politics and government) to become more politically active, taught us that, “democracy is not something we have.
The Decline of Local News Is Bad for Democracy. Tracking the events in state legislatures and city councils requires skilled beat reporters. They're becoming an increasingly rare breed. Author: Seth Masket; Publish date: in 13 hours; Social count: 0. 0. SHARES. A section of the Rocky Mountain News newsroom sits empty ...
The ancient Athenians, some 2,400 years ago, are often held up as starting the concept of democracy wherein the “people” would gather and make political decisions for their city-state after robust debate on the issues and alternative approaches to problems. Their leaders were eye-to-eye and mouth-to-ear ...
Political science is dominated by concerns regarding the 'end', 'death' or 'suicide' of democracy and books that highlight the rise of anti-political sentiment and 'disaffected democrats.' The crisis narratives are arguably now so ubiquitous and levels of political trust amongst large sections of the public so low ...
Take My Breath Away is an elegy for a disintegrating ideal of democracy. Instead of Virgil as epic poet, it invokes Virgil as Dante's guide to the nether regions, The Guggenheim rotunda is an ideal setting for its meditation on history and freedom, and on love, faith, and death. Imagine it as a truncated Inferno.
HARARE - Civil society organisations have called upon government to ratify and domesticate the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) ahead of the 2018 elections. This comes after President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the Charter on March 21, on the side-lines of the ...
The Cambridge Analytica scandal has hit Facebook and democracy in the UK and the US. On Tuesday, a whistleblower from Cambridge Analytica gave yet more evidence about how data obtained through Facebook may have tampered with the Brexit referendum. What's more, Christopher Wylie has said ...
Editor's Note: Immigrants are often portrayed as a threat to democracy, particularly if they come from "shithole" countries as our president has so charmingly put it. This view, however, ignores the very power of democracy and the attractiveness of its values for those who have only known tyranny. Margaret ...
Amid rising turmoil in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), President Joseph Kabila remains in power—despite a constitutional mandate calling for the end of his rule in December 2016. On March 20, the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, in collaboration with Stand With Congo, hosted a ...
Although democracy has spread from one country to more than 100 countries in the space of two centuries, it has also suffered setbacks along the way, and continues to face resistance to this day. Democracy, after all, is not inevitable, and yet it remains the best system of governance compared to the ...
Meanwhile in Nigeria, the government expected that its first post-independence census in 1962 would provide an empirical basis for representation in what was then a new democracy. Officials in Nigeria's Western Region feared that residents would be unable to participate because the census asked for ...
LIMA, Peru — After almost 20 years of trying to rebuild its democracy, Peru is still struggling to find a formula that allows an elected government to operate without corruption. A succession of presidents are fugitives or in prison. And in the latest crisis, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, after less than two years as ...
Democracy has spawned manufacturers of dissent and consent who can be contracted for swaying the election results in one country or organising a political 'Spring' and destabilising a regime in another. If it is illegal to subvert free elections in another country, the official intelligence agency can outsource ...
The concept of democracy is based on high principle, refined by centuries of political theory. But democracy is at its most observable in the processes required to sustain it; the everyday – and sometimes mundane – safeguards needed to protect free and fair elections, freedom of speech and association, ...
By approving several new laws related to voting and registration, Washington has taken steps to strengthen our democracy. This is not something to be taken lightly. At a time when citizens are apathetic and when our election system is under attack from a foreign adversary, it is essential for Americans to ...
... Saudi media to debate." Asked whether Saudi Arabia could ever become democratic under bin Salman, popularly known in the West as MBS, Khashoggi said: "Not on his watch. I haven't heard him make even the slightest inference that he would open the country for power-sharing, for democracy." ...
Given the trans-Atlantic community's role as the primary instigator and promoter of democratic progress in the post-WWII era, this worrying shift has consequences for democracy's trajectory and the future character of the international order. Of course, the world is not neatly divided between the democratic ...
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela is rightly understood as representing the long struggle to bring democracy to his nation. This is true even though voting and party systems in South Africa preceded his election by some 80 years. In the United States, we attribute democracy to “the Founders,” all of whom were white men and ...
In the wake of fake news and Russian-bought ads that proliferated the 2016 U.S. presidential election, people have started taking a more critical look at the role of social media in society. As social media companies launch new policies in the aftermath, several questions still remain, and among them, ...
During the 2016 U.S. election, an estimated one in every five tweets about the election were from bots. They were also promoting far-right candidates in France and Germany in 2017, and now, are spreading false information in Ireland ahead of a contentious referendum on abortion. This keeps happening.
The arc, or line, of history, he argued, could not sustain tyrannies; ultimately, it would be free democracies that would win, and were winning, the long struggle among competing governing ideologies. Sure enough, Vladimir Putin 's never-in-doubt "reelection" as the unquestioned leader of post-Soviet ...
The folk theory of democracy is based on the idea of an informed, knowledge-seeking citizenry holding politicians accountable through elections. This assumes that people know what their elected officials are doing and that there is a clear link between what people want and what elected officials deliver.
Turkey is the biggest backslider on democracy over the past two years as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's repressive measures since a failed coup in 2016 involved “massive restriction of freedom of expression, the press and freedom of assembly”, the Financial Times said. Citing a report by the ...
26, 2015 file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi during their meeting in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia. Egyptians go to the polls next week in what is essentially a one-candidate election -- but almost nowhere has democracy taken hold in ...
The shift from Western-style democracy to strongman rule has been something of a global phenomenon, said Lito Camacho, vice chairman for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse. "Asian democracy" may seem to be working better in many parts of the world compared to Western-style democracy, Camacho added.
Jeff Flake said Sunday it was a “horrible day for democracy” when Andrew McCabe was fired as deputy director of the FBI, and suggested President Trump is preparing to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. “When the president said it was a great day for democracy yesterday, I think it was a horrible day for ...
Deputy Chairman of the BiH PA House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Stasa Kosarac, said, “No doubt, we are seeing a high level of democracy in Russia. Due to the atmosphere created, over 1,500 international observers were involved in monitoring the electoral process, which indicates the ...
Joseph Califano Jr., a member of former presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter's administrations, was in Austin sharing his insights on Washington. He sat down with Ashley Goudeau during Texas This Week to talk politics and his new book, "Our Damaged Democracy: We the People Must Act.".
Former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, in a 1996 photo, at a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of an attempt on his life in which five of his bodyguards were killed. (Santiago Llanquin / AP). The two Chilean ex-fugitives linked to an alleged Mexican kidnap ring count among the scattered ...
“Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hardworking men and women of the FBI — a great day for Democracy! ... Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" that McCabe's firing was a "horrible day for democracy" and called a White House offensive against the special prosecutor ...


 

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