In General Terms, Democracy Is Characterized As A Government

1504 WordsMay 1, 20177 Pages
In general terms, democracy is characterized as a government in which citizens have the capabilities to exercise political autonomy to influence the affairs of the state. To be more precise, citizens are able to exercise direct control over the government—as in the case of pure democracies—or they are able to exercise indirect control—as in the case of representative democracies. Of course this general characterization is an oversimplification of what a democracy is and precisely how it functions. However, the ability of the citizenry to influence state affairs is the bedrock that generally constitute a democracy. In an attempt to further sharpen this concept, I found it necessary in my previous paper to consider what democracy looks…show more content…
Second, in recognizing that democracy can take on the extreme of these tendencies, my characterization now includes the assumption that democracy requires a relative nature—a constant shift between consolidation and decentralization—to guard against the possibilities of tyranny by the minority or the majority. Lastly, in recognizing these possibilities, my definition now assumes that the role of the citizenry should be to understand the relative nature of democracy and the implications it has regarding political power and the stability of the state. While I have incorporated these additional assumptions, I still retained my definition: democracy is a relative struggle between consolidation and decentralization. As such, I have found much support and reinforcement from the different theorist and literatures explored this semester. In my first revision of my original conception of democracy, I eliminated the restrictions that tied the driving tendencies of democracy to oligarchism and anarchism, and expanded these tendencies to all notions of consolidating or decentralizing political power. As such, my argument is that democracy is driven by two opposing forces that aims to consolidate political power in the hands of a few, or decentralize political power in the
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