Variations on a Theme
Democracy is defined as a political system in which citizens rule, either by themselves or through others that are elected, influenced, and controlled by the people, in a way that puts each citizen on a par with every other. After the rise and fall of the Athenian and Roman archetypes of democracy and republicanism, the idea of citizen rule was shelved for a long time. This chapter discusses how democracy revived in subsequent waves of democratization, and how multiformity and multi‐interpretability became inevitable characteristics of democratic life. Consequently, democracy comes in many shapes and forms, many definitions and categorizations. This chapter presents an abstraction of this multitude by specifying four crucial variations on the general theme of democracy, juxtaposing the dimensions of direct versus indirect democracy and integrative versus aggregative democracy. This results in four ideal types: pendulum democracy (indirect‐aggregative), consensus democracy (indirect‐integrative), participatory democracy (direct‐integrative), voter democracy (direct‐aggregative).
Keywords: democratization, established democracies, demos/kratos, direct versus indirect democracy, majoritarian versus non‐majoritarian democracy, pendulum democracy, consensus democracy, voter democracy, participatory democracy
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