What is Democracy? Structure, Types, Countries

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Democracy is a type of political structure, doctrine or system of government under which policies, laws, leadership, as well as the major undertakings of a state are directly or indirectly decided and elected by the people of that country. In this short article, we will understand what is democracy, what is its structure, its types etc!

The people who can elect leaders, at first, were constituted of only a minority part of the population, i.e. all free male adults in ancient Athens. Others were adult males that were sufficiently propertied in 19th-century Britain. However, since the mid-20th century group that can vote has generally been understood to include all adult citizens.

Structure and Features of Democracy

Following are the features and structure of a democratic system

  • Democracy should have large citizen participation
  • Rulers in a democracy are elected by the people
  • The final decision-making power is always with those elected by the people.
  • A democratic election must be free and based on fairness. Meaning, those in power also have a fair chance of losing.
  • A democratic structure provides each of its adult citizen one vote. Apart from this, each vote must have one value. 
  • Democracy has a multi-party political system 
  • A democratic government must govern on the basis of constitutional law and the rights of the citizens.

Also Read: What is Communism?

Types of Democracies

There are mainly two types of democratic structures. Following are the two types of democracy, check them out!

Direct Democracy

Direct democracy is a type of democracy under which the citizens of that country have the power to choose or elect their leaders directly. There is no need for representatives that elect on their behalf or intermediaries under this process. The citizens of the country vote on policies and laws through direct means.

Representative Democracy 

Representative democracy is a kind of democracy under which the citizens of that country elect representatives. These representatives make decisions on their behalf. These representatives, that further elect ministers in the parliament, are typically elected by the common citizens through a voting system. Later these representatives go on to represent the citizens and make decisions on their behalf.

Also Read: Left wing v/s Right wing

Countries with Democratic Systems

Following are the countries that have a democratic style of government:

  • Norway
  • Australia
  • India
  • Sweden
  • USA
  • New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • Canada
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Switzerland



#1. What are the different types of democracy?

#2. Which of the following countries does not have a democratic system of governance?

#3. When was the first known Democracy established?


For more information on civics and polity, stay tuned with us on our general knowledge page! 

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