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The 6 types of Democracy and their characteristics

The 6 types of Democracy and their characteristics

November 27, 2021

Democracy is a type of governance within the society that refers to a balance of forces between citizens and the representatives they choose to empower them to legislate and execute those policies that concern them or that seem to them a priority.

Although the concept of democracy is one and unequivocal, there are different varieties and types of State organization, whose differences are especially marked by the exceptionality of each society, such as religion, territorial character or the ethnicity of different communities. Then we will see what are the different types of democracy .


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What is democracy?

The terminology of democracy dates back to the early fifth century, in ancient Greece. More concretely, it is in Athens where the birth of this political system took place , although with very important limitations. "Demos" refers to "people" and "cracia" comes from the etymology "kratos", which refers to "power" or "government".

In general terms, democracy constitutes a series of fundamental requirements that make up a variety of civil rights that are distinguished from other political systems. Some of them are suffrage (right to vote), freedom of expression and freedom of political action (being part of power).


The 6 types of democracy

Due to the centuries passed since its origin, democracy has been transformed and adapted to the increasingly heterogeneous times of modern societies.

In this article we will review The 6 most common types of democracy of our times.

1. Direct democracy

It is the type of democracy most desired and still desired in overpopulated countries since direct democracy It is usually implemented in spaces of few inhabitants , as this is a direct participation system, as its name indicates, without intermediaries or representatives. Normally debates and decisions are instrumentalized through the assembly system.

2. Liberal

Liberal democracy is common in the Western world, whose system is defined by the election of the rulers by vote (suffrage), those representatives where they are subject to a rule of law, laws and the Constitution that have emanated from the same people.


In this type of democracy, citizens enjoy rights and freedoms, both individually and collectively, democratic pluralism, political, social and religious tolerance. Alternation in power is another requirement fundamental of this model. In addition, there is a control system for the government that monitors the quality of the mandate.

3. Christian Democrat

Democrat democracy It was very widespread in some European countries in the 20th century , in countries like Germany, Ireland or Italy. It consists in governing the laws of public life with the commandments and values ​​of the Christian religion, including Catholics and Protestants.

In this sense, the Christian Democratic ideology tends to turn to the right, to more conservative legislations and to a liberalization of the economy.

4. Indirect or representative

Indirect democracy or also known as representative, is the most implemented today . Here citizens choose different political profiles (presidents, delegates, mayors, senators, deputies) to represent them in public life and in political decisions.

5. Partial

Partial democracy refers to political systems where the powers of the people are well limited in the sphere and political activities (decision-making power). They comply with the basic requirements of any democracy such as elections, freedom of expression and plurality of parties, but the citizens do not enjoy real access to the state administrations .

On the other hand, this kind of democracy It is customary to be a personalist and the ruling party has mechanisms to strengthen or increase its executive and legislative capacity over parliament and the Constitution of the country in question.

6. Popular

It is perhaps the most controversial and complex type of democracy. It is said of the popular governments those who have broken their ties with imperialism , colonialism or have achieved their independence through resistance (armed in some cases) popular with the invader.

These systems they are socialist and progressive , and the government party holds hegemony, nationalizes companies and opposes Globalization.They were devised by the former Soviet Union, and were implemented in the countries of their influence, called satellite states.

It is a case in which, indeed, democratic elections have taken place. But these have been preceded by events such as a coup d'état, after which the dominant force seeks to legitimize its power through free elections.

In many cases they emerge with overwhelming popular support that, over time, is shrinking as the regime perpetuates itself in power for long periods, missing its initial promise to return power to the masses.


Types of Democracy (November 2021).


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