International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Democratic Typology: A Practical Guide
MOSES .M. ADAGBABIRI, PhD; Okolie Ugo Chuks

The beginning of the idea of democracy is associated with the city-states of ancient Greece. The word itself is derived from the Greek “demokratia”, from demos, “the people” and kratos, “rule”. Greek democracy was direct democracy in which the whole citizen body formed the legislature, and in which the representative system was unknown. This was possible because of limited size of the ancient state which was generally confined to a city and its rural surroundings. Ancient democracy recognized the equality of citizens, but failed to develop a general conception of the equality of mankind. Greek democracy was a brief historical episode which had little direct influence on the theory or practice of modern democratic states. From the fall of the Greek City-States to the rise of modern constitutionalism, there is a gap of about 2000years in the theory and practice of democracy. The successor states were tribal or feudal kingdoms which became largely transformed into absolute monarchies. This was the situation down to the time of the decline of colonialism and the rise of nationalism. Democracy is a concept which stirs up different ideas in the minds of many people. Therefore, there is no consensus among scholars on the exact definition of democracy. Thus, theoretically, scholars and international financial institutions like the World Bank have established an inextricable connection between democracy and good governance. Democracy, adequately understood, is a theory that sets some basic principles according to which a good government, whatever its form, must be run (Oluwole, 2003). Democracy has thus been recognized as the only moral and legitimate way through which a society can be administered; there has been no universally agreed definition of the concept. The question now is: what is the explanation for democratic divergent views and typologies? An attempt to answer this question is what this paper has set out to achieve.

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