According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, democracy can mean:

  • government by the people
  • a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
  • a political unit that has a democratic government

The dictionary definition is only the tip of the iceberg.  There are many definitions, depending upon the context. Among these are:

  • Direct democracy
  • Representative democracy
  • Republican democracy
  • Federal democracy
  • Constitutional democracy
  • Liberal democracy
  • Illiberal democracy
  • Presidential democracy
  • Parliamentary democracy

Many of these concepts can be mixed together. For example, the United States system is representative, constitutional, federal, liberal, republican, and presidential.

An especially important question to ask is, “why democracy?” If you want to start exploring that question, click here

« Back to Glossary Index

Leave a Reply