What is Democracy? What Are the Types of Democracy?June 28, 2021
In a general definition, democracy is a form of political administration based on the idea that the sovereign right belongs to the people.
Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as “government of the people, for the people and by the people.” has been defined. In order for democracy to be realized in a society, certain conditions must be met. These; the wide participation of the people in the administration, the free expression of different opinions, the opportunity for the people to organize, the observance of the decisions of the majority, the protection of minority rights, the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.
The people, who do not have the opportunity to govern themselves directly, determine their rulers through elections held at regular intervals and participate in the orientation in this way. In democratic societies, the participation of the people in the administration can be done by parties, elections, referendums, etc. takes place with tools.
The spread and development of democracy as a form of government took place in the 20th century. This development took place in two directions: First, the number of democratic states increased. Independent states in the world have rapidly started to adopt democracy as a form of government. While democracy was in question in 22 independent states representing 31 percent of the world’s population in the middle of the 20th century, by the end of the century, 120 out of 192 states had governments formed as a result of elections, and these countries represented 62.5 percent of the world’s population. Second, fruitful debates on democracy promoted democracy; expressions of advanced democracy have been observed. The understanding of representative democracy that triumphed over monarchies, 20th century. It has been questioned since the middle of nowhere.
The Historical Adventure of Democracy and Its Types It can be said that there are three basic models of democracy that have been applied in historical periods. These are “direct democracy”, “representative democracy” and participatory democracy”.
Types of Democracy
Democracy, which is formed by the combination of the words demos, which means ‘people’ in the ancient Greek language, and kratos, which means ‘power, administration, power’, appears as a phrase meaning “power of the people” when the given dictionary meanings are brought together.
As its meaning indicates, one of the main features that distinguishes democracy from other forms of government is that the rulers work to protect and develop the rights and freedoms of the ruled; Another is the right to participate in the administration given to individuals who constitute the community of individuals affected by the decisions of the administration and who can become voters.
Democracy is a concept formed from the Greek words demos and kratos, which means “people’s power” in short.
So, it would be appropriate to ask the following question: How will the individual or citizen participate in the administration? In Athens, the geography where the concept of ‘democracy’ originated, BC. In the 5th and 4th centuries, all citizens, except slaves, women and children, took an active part in the decision mechanisms directly and continuously. Thus, the distinction between the state and civil society or the rulers and the ruled did not emerge today, so the problem of legitimacy in the administration of the city-state of Athens did not occupy the political agenda (Cevizci 2005, p. 446).
In ancient Greek civilization, Athens was ruled as a city-state and everyone except women, children and slaves had the right to participate directly in political decision making. Democracy that works in this way is called direct democracy.
However, in societies with increasing population, growing cities and increasing and complex needs over the centuries, people have sought other solutions, as direct participation in government would be quite challenging, as in Athens. In the 17th century and beyond, which is also referred to as the ‘modern’, European societies gradually adopted a model in which ordinary citizens voted for more knowledgeable, better-educated and politically experienced people to represent them through regular elections and sent to the parliament. This model is still practiced in all the states that are most clearly known today and that use the term ‘democratic’ for their administration, and it is referred to as representative democracy (Miller 2003, pp. 38 and 40).
Again, according to this model, in the table that emerges as a result of the counting of the votes, the party that receives the highest number of votes, that is, the political organization composed of the representatives, acquires the right to rule the country and society until the next elections. What enables us to distinguish democracy from other forms of government in participation through elections is the fact that citizens and political figures and/or parties who are candidates for governing the country and society may be deprived of their right to rule through an election. The fact that the rulers come to power through elections indicates that voting is the most important power of the electorate. This power also constitutes a guarantee against the abuse of power by parties or professional politicians in well-functioning democracies.
In societies governed by democracy,