Types of democracy refers to pluralism of governing structures such as governments (local through to global) and other constructs like workplaces, families, community associations, and so forth. Types of democracy can cluster around values. Some such types (e.g., direct democracy, electronic democracy, participatory democracy, real democracy, deliberative democracy) promote equal and direct participation in political acts (e.g., protest, discussion, decision-making).

Others (e.g., representative democracy) favor more indirect or procedural approaches to collective self-governance.[1] Types of democracy can be found across time, space, and language.[2] The foregoing examples are just a few of the thousands of refinements of, and variations on, the central notion of "democracy."[3]not correct

Direct democracy

A direct democracy, or pure democracy, is a type of democracy where the people govern directly. It requires wide participation of citizens in politics.[4] Athenian democracy, or classical democracy, refers to a direct democracy developed in ancient times in the Greek city-state of Athens. A popular democracy is a type of direct democracy based on referendums and other devices of empowerment and concretization of popular will.

An industrial democracy is an arrangement which involves workers making decisions, sharing responsibility and authority in the workplace (see also workplace).

Representative democracies

A representative democracy is an indirect democracy where sovereignty is held by the people's representatives.

Types of representative democracy include:

  • Electoral democracy – type of representative democracy based on election, on electoral vote, as modern occidental or liberal democracies. Also, electoral democracy can guarantee protection of personal freedoms.[5]
  • Dominant-party system – democratic party system where only one political party can realistically become the government, by itself or in a coalition government.
  • Parliamentary democracy – democratic system of government where the executive branch of a parliamentary government is typically a cabinet, and headed by a prime minister who is considered the head of government.
    • Westminster democracy – parliamentary system of government modeled after that of the United Kingdom system.
  • Presidential democracy – democratic system of government where a head of government is also head of state and leads an executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch.
    • Jacksonian democracy – a variant of presidential democracy popularized by U.S. President Andrew Jackson which promoted the strength of the executive branch and the Presidency at the expense of Congressional power.

A demarchy has people randomly selected from the citizenry through sortition to either act as general governmental representatives or to make decisions in specific areas of governance (defense, environment, etc.).

A non-partisan democracy is system of representative government or organization such that universal and periodic elections (by secret ballot) take place without reference to political parties.

An organic or authoritarian democracy is a democracy where the ruler holds a considerable amount of power, but their rule benefits the people. The term was first used by supporters of Bonapartism.[6]

Types based on location

A cellular democracy, developed by Georgist libertarian economist Fred E. Foldvary, uses a multi-level bottom-up structure based on either small neighborhood governmental districts or contractual communities.[7]

A workplace democracy refers to the application of democracy to the workplace[8] (see also industrial democracy).

Types based on level of freedom

A liberal democracy is a representative democracy with protection for individual liberty and property by rule of law. In contrast, a defensive democracy limits some rights and freedoms in order to protect the institutions of the democracy.

Types based on ethnic influence

Religious democracies

A religious democracy is a form of government where the values of a particular religion have an effect on the laws and rules, often when most of the population is a member of the religion, such as:

Other types of democracy

Further information: Hybrid regime

Types of democracy include:

See also

Further types



  1. ^ Diamond, Larry Jay and Plattner, Marc F. (2006). Electoral systems and democracy. p. 168. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 9780801884757
  2. ^ Jean-Paul Gagnon (2013). Evolutionary Basic Democracy Chapter 1. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  3. ^ Gagnon, Jean-Paul (2018). "2,234 Descriptions of Democracy". Democratic Theory. 5: 92–113. doi:10.3167/dt.2018.050107. S2CID 149825810.
  4. ^ Christians, Clifford (2009). History of Communication: Normative Theories of the Media: Journalism in Democratic Societies. The United States: University of Illinois Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-252-03423-7.
  5. ^ Berggren, Niclas; Gutmann, Jerg (1 April 2020). "Securing personal freedom through institutions: the role of electoral democracy and judicial independence". European Journal of Law and Economics. 49 (2): 165–186. doi:10.1007/s10657-020-09643-9. hdl:10419/194861. S2CID 182455559.
  6. ^ Rothney, John Alexander Murray (1969). Bonapartism after Sedan. Cornell University Press. p. 293.
  7. ^ "Category: 2". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
  8. ^ Rayasam, Renuka (24 April 2008). "Why Workplace Democracy Can Be Good Business". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2010.