What is Democracy? Types Of Democracy

JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO Monday, January 29, 2024 Politics

Every country interprets the meaning of democracy in their own particular way. With a wide range of different geopolitical atmospheres, we see a large spectrum of democratic governments in existence around the globe. Democracy is a form of government that has played a major role in modern history. Democracy dragged us away from archaic systems, such as authoritarian monarchies, into more liberal and rational forms of governance. This post will provide information on the top 10 list of different types of democracy in the world and also provide answers to questions like: How many types of democracy are there in the world? How many types of democracy are there in the world? What are the 2 main types of democracy? What are the 2 main types of democracy? What is democracy and its types?

What Is Democracy?

Democracy is simply a system of government where the citizens directly exercise their power, and have the right to elect government representatives who collectively create a government body for the entire nation. In a democratic government, people have certain basic rights that the government can’t take away from them, and these rights are internationally recognized and guaranteed.

Types Of Democracy In The World

1. Direct Democracy

A direct democracy is when citizens get to vote for a policy directly, without any intermediate representatives or houses of parliament. They vote on the issue and decide the fate of their own countries. Even taxes cannot be raised without the public support and the people can even bring up issues themselves, as long as they have a substantial consensus on the issue.

2. Representative Democracy

Representative democracy or indirect democracy is when people choose to vote for who will represent them in a parliament. This is the most common form of democracy found across the world. It takes advantage of division of labor: a small group of representatives can use their expertise in policy-making, freeing everyone else to pursue other tasks.

3. Presidential Democracy

Under a presidential democracy, the president of a state has a significant amount of power over the government. He/she is either directly or indirectly elected by citizens of the state. In a presidential democracy, the head of state is also the head of the government. Countries like the USA, Argentina, and Sudan employ this kind of democracy.

4. Parliamentary Democracy

A democracy that gives more power to the legislature is called a parliamentary democracy. The executive branch derives its democratic legitimacy only from the legislature, i.e. the parliament. The elected legislature (parliament) chooses the head of the government (prime minister), and may remove the prime minister at any time by passing a vote of no confidence. The head of state (president) is different from the head of government (prime minister), and both have varying degrees of power. However, in most cases, the president is either a weak monarch (e.g. the United Kingdom) or a ceremonial head (e.g. India).

5. Authoritarian Democracy

This is when only the elites are a part of the parliamentary process. The individuals of the state are allowed to vote for their chosen candidate, but “regular people” cannot enter the elections. Therefore, in the end, it is only the ruling elite that decide on the various interests of the state’s population. Modern-day Russia under Vladimir Putin is a classic example of this type of governance. Even Hong Kong generally falls under the same category.

6. Participatory Democracy

The exact opposite of an authoritarian democracy is the participatory form of democracy. There are different types of participatory democracy, but all of them yearn to create opportunities for all members of a population to make meaningful contributions to the decision-making process. It empowers the dis-empowered by breaking up the state into small networks and prefers to empower community-based grassroots politics. It values deliberation and discussion, rather than merely voting.

7. Islamic Democracy

Islamic democracy has three main characteristics: the leaders are elected by the people, everyone is subject to the Sharia law including the leaders and the leaders must commit to practicing ‘shura’, a special form of consultation practiced by Prophet Muhammad. Shura signifies that the political body is in place for consultation on any problem.Afghanistan and Pakistan and some other Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia, practice this sytem of democracy.

8. Social Democracy

Social Democracy arose as a reaction to neoliberal policies in international economics. Under neoliberalism, profit-making entities like multinational corporations can easily infiltrate other political states. They maintain a level of sovereignty and mobility that no government can counter. The power of the political state seems flimsy in comparison. Social Democracy aims at empowering the state over the mere whims of the neoliberal market.

9. Constitutional Democracy

In a constitutional democracy a constitution outlines who will represent the people and how. Australia practice constitutional democracy system.

10. Monitory democracy

This is a form of democracy in which government is constantly monitored in its exercise of power by a vast array of public and private agencies, commissions and regulatory mechanisms.

How many types of democracy are there in the world?

Types of democracy can cluster around values. For example, some like direct democracy, electronic democracy, participatory democracy, real democracy, deliberative democracy, and pure democracy strive to allow people to participate equally and directly in protest, discussion, decision-making, or other acts of politics.

What are the 2 main types of democracy?

Democracies fall into two basic categories, direct and representative.


It will interest you to know that most countries are too large and too complicated for direct democracy to work within their political borders. In those cases, people prefer to elect representatives on their behalf, rather than vote on every single issue.

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