The Definition of Democracy
The substantive definition of democracy involves criteria for collective decision-making, and decisions made through democratic procedures are undemocratic when they violate these substantive demands. Ronald Dworkin has developed a “partnership conception” to understand this issue. The author of this book considers the implications of this argument. In the US, discriminatory policies, even those that are adopted through democratic procedures, are undemocratic. Regardless of the method used, such policies are illegitimate and must be changed.
The word ‘democracy’ derives from the Greek language and consists of two words, demos (whole) and kratos (power). It has roots in a suspicion of centralized power, as it implies that the power belongs to the entire people. It has been characterized by a legitimate government with a high degree of support from the public, and frequent elections. The rules are framed to maximize the well-being of all citizens.
Membership in a unit does not entitle one to participation in a demos. As human mobility and migration increase, not all residents of a state territory are citizens. Moreover, the effects of state laws reach far beyond the boundaries of the state. As a result, it is not possible to exclude such people from participating in democratic decision-making. It is difficult to say that a country is not a democratic country, as the definition of democracy is based on its performance, but it is a political value.
A substantive definition of democracy differs from a procedural definition. A substantive definition of democracy is one that is based on the people themselves. A procedural definition, on the other hand, is one that is derived from a linguistic convention. The rationale for a particular stance in favor of a concept is based on the usefulness of the concept and its compatibility with linguistic conventions. It is important to keep these differences in mind when considering the different types of democratic institutions, because a country can choose to create an institution with a democratic system of government, which will be both secular and Islamic.
While a democracy has many benefits, it is not an ideal system. It may be unreliable and have problems. But, it does have certain attributes that are desirable. Its most important attribute is that it offers opportunities for a better life and a better economy. The opportunity to associate with others is valuable. The value of a democracy is non-instrumental. But, it is a good example of a non-instrumental form of a society.
A concept of democracy is different from a process that takes place to create a political system. A substantive definition of democracy is an idea that is a product of a linguistic convention, and is not a process that takes place in an actual situation. It is also important to remember that a political democracy can be a means to an end. It can improve the quality of society and provide benefits to its members. And, a democratic society is a desirable goal.