Democracy is a political regime in which the electorate’s votes are directly or indirectly involved in the governance of the state. It is also characterized by a commitment to civil liberties. The triumph of the concept of democracy occurred quite recently – only in the twentieth century.

Description of democratic government system


No democracy, as applied to existing political regimes, existed before that. This concept was invented in the late nineteenth century, and it established itself after World War II. A role in this was played by Hans Kelsen, the German-Austrian jurist, legal philosopher, and political philosopher who was a great supporter of democracy but believed that democracy is when the law rules. When there are some norms, but there is some primary norm that talks about elections and representation. And because of it, the whole system is democratic.

There is, in fact, a certain logic in this. If we take modern democracy, its definition is very contradictory. Modern democracy is characterized by-elections, but at the same time, it asserts the importance of rotation, which takes place through elections. But this is a very bad rotation because it is often reduced to a rotation of two elite groups among themselves, and someone third rarely gets a chance to get a word in. In ancient Rome and Greece, rotation was by lot; it was much more extensive. Modern democracy proclaims the principle of equality. And yet democracy only works well if there is a large middle class in the state, if the state is rich enough, which contradicts the idea of equality.

Known since Winston Churchill as the “best of the worst” form of government, democracy is an important component of the ideal of human rights. Yet, the world knows of no International Convention on Democracy or any other widely ratified treaty that establishes the criteria for recognizing a government as democratic. Too much in the interpretation of democracy is left to the discretion of the interpreter.

Example of the democratic government system

Both in Ancient Rome, in the Age of Enlightenment, and in modern times we deal with the affirmation of the democratic principle and democratic ideal at the price of its rationalization and abstraction. In other words, it is said that democracy is being built, but it will be a democracy of form and not of content; the people will rule but through a very complicated legal procedure of representation, which is already an artificial model. Representation should play a game in which the president and parliament are the people. That is, it is no longer the people, but the people’s decisions are implemented according to the game. That is, democracy remains, but as a distilled principle.

The example of Brexit does not necessarily mean the end of democracy, but rather a sign of a conflict between two concepts of democracy – representative and direct democracy, which, among other things, is expressed through a referendum. Both have advantages as well as serious disadvantages. If representative democracy has led to the alienation of elites from ordinary citizens, direct democracy carries the seeds of authoritarianism. But Brexit caused chaos not because the decision was made by referendum as an element of direct democracy. The reason is public distrust and the alienation of elites from the majority of citizens.


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