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According to political scientist Larry Diamond, it consists of four key elements: The term originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule of the people",[4] which was found from δῆμος (dêmos) "people" and κράτος (krátos) "power" or "rule", in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens; the term is an antonym to ἀριστοκρατία (aristokratía) "rule of an elite". While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically.[5] The political system of Classical Athens, for example, granted democratic citizenship to an elite class of free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. 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. Characteristics[edit] History[edit] Ancient origins[edit] Middle Ages[edit] Robert A.

Related:  Democracy

Does democracy work? Alexander Hamilton, one of the framers of the U.S. Constitution, was far from comfortable at the thought of instituting a democracy. Democracy was, in Hamilton's opinion and those of many others at the time, tantamount to mob rule. The idea of a large, diverse group of people attempting to govern itself invoked images of gangs tarring and feathering the local tax collector. That's not government, went the argument: That's lawlessness. What Hamilton endorsed instead was a strong, centralized government run for the benefit of the whole by an elite ruling class [source: Wright and MacGregor].

Oligarchy Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning "few", and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning "to rule or to command")[1][2][3] is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term. Throughout history, oligarchies have been tyrannical (relying on public obedience and/or oppression to exist) or relatively benign. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich,[4] for which the exact term is plutocracy.

State and Local Governments: Democracy at Work? Although their composition and rules may vary from state to state, state legislatures have a common function: to propose legislation and enact laws that apply to their state. Here, the New Jersey State Legislature is hard at work. One national government, 50 state governments, and 85,000 local governments.

Monarchy Monarchy was the most common form of government until the 19th century, but it is no longer prevalent. Where it exists, it is now usually a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch retains a unique legal and ceremonial role, but exercises limited or no political power: under the written or unwritten constitution, others have governing authority. Currently, 44 sovereign nations in the world have monarchs acting as heads of state, 16 of which are Commonwealth realms that recognise Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state. All European monarchies are constitutional ones, with the exception of the Vatican City, but sovereigns in the smaller states exercise greater political influence than in the larger. The monarchs of Cambodia, Japan, and Malaysia "reign, but do not rule" although there is considerable variation in the degree of authority they wield.

List of forms of government Ever wondered what all those ...ocracies and ...archies were? Seek no further than RationalWiki's list of forms of government. Anarchism A form of government (or lack thereof) with no ruling hierarchy, instead decisions are made at a directly democratic level: laws are created by citizens alone, although they may be enforced by institutions that are not publicly controlled. Anarcho-capitalism Anarchy Anarchy has more than one definition. Some use the term "beans on toast" to refer to a society without a publicly enforced government.[1][2] When used in this sense, anarchy may[3] or may not[4] be intended to imply political disorder or lawlessness within a society. Many anarchists complain with Anselme Bellegarrigue that "[v]ulgar error has taken 'anarchy' to be synonymous with 'civil war.'"[5] Etymology[edit]

Good governance Good governance is an indeterminate term used in international development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources. Governance is "the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)".[1] The term governance can apply to corporate, international, national, local governance[1] or to the interactions between other sectors of society. The concept of "good governance" often emerges as a model to compare ineffective economies or political bodies with viable economies and political bodies.[2] The concept centers on the responsibility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the masses as opposed to select groups in society. Forms[edit]

Fascism Fascism (/ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian ultranationalism,[1][2] characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy,[3] which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.[4] The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries.[4] Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.[5][6][7][4][8][9] Fascists saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes to the nature of war, society, the state and technology. The advent of total war and the total mass mobilization of society had broken down the distinction between civilians and combatants.

Democratic governance Democratic governance is the bedrock of the OSCE’s system of values and standards. It is a system of government where institutions function according to democratic processes and norms, both internally and in their interaction with other institutions. ODIHR's work on democratic governance is anchored in the standards that OSCE participating States have agreed, including political pluralism, institutional accountability and responsiveness, an active civil society, human rights, the rule of law, and democratic elections. ODIHR supports the efforts of participating States to improve democratic governance by increasing the level of women’s participation in politics, strengthening parliaments, developing multiparty political landscapes, preventing the abuse of state resources, and following up on the recommendations made by election observation missions. Parliamentary support ODIHR supports field operations by providing advice and expertise, as well as sharing knowledge and networking tools.

Communism Communism is represented by a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism, anarchism and the political ideologies grouped around both. All these hold in common the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism, that in this system, there are two major social classes: the proletariat - who must work to survive, and who make up a majority of society - and the capitalist class - a minority who derive profit from employing the proletariat, through private ownership of the means of production, and that political, social and economic conflict between these two classes will trigger a fundamental change in the economic system, and by extension a wide-ranging transformation of society. The primary element which will enable this transformation, according to communism, is the social ownership of the means of production. Because of historical peculiarities, communism is commonly erroneously equated to Marxism-Leninism in mainstream usage.

BASIC PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT Organizations, whether they are homeowners associations or the local PTA, have discovered that governments which govern best are those who have laws which protect the rights of those governed and limit the powers of those who govern. In these organizations, members and officers uphold their governing documents. Their meetings are conducted according to the basic principles of democracy as found in a parliamentary authority, like Robert’s Rules of Order Simplified and Applied. There are six essential principles that ensure that the democratic process is upheld in any organization.

Socialism Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production,[10] as well as the political theories and movements associated with them.[11] Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity.[12] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them,[13] though social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.[5][14][15] Etymology The origin of the term "socialism" may be traced back and attributed to a number of originators, in addition to significant historical shifts in the usage and scope of the word. For Andrew Vincent, "[t]he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and then medieval law was societas. History

10 Reasons Why Democracy Doesn’t Work Politics It is an accepted fact that liberal democracy is the worst possible political system—except for all others (thank you, Sir Winston). This list doesn’t aim to advocate tyranny, but to review the flaws and failures of the democratic process. We are not perfect—and neither are our governments, since they are made by humans too. Dictatorship Dictatorship is a form of government ruled by a single leader.[1] The political authority is often monopolized by a single person or a political party, and exercised through various oppressive mechanisms.[2] Other scholars[who?] stress the omnipotence of the State (with its consequent suspension of rights) as the key element of a dictatorship and they argue that such a concentration of power can be legitimate or not depending on the circumstances, objectives and methods employed.[3] History[edit]