Essay Direct Indirect Democracy

One must also keep in mind that direct-democratic processes cannot operate in isolation but are always linked to the structures of an overall political system that includes major representative institutions.Thus, interactions between the two types of institutions will be an important challenge for analysis.

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Normative theory of direct democracy still rests basically on popular sovereignty, freedom, and political equality, with Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the outstanding theorist of unanimous consent of the people for a free republican constitution and subsequent forms of participation.

During the 19th century, these principles were increasingly challenged, or they were deprived of their substance beyond representative institutions.

The term is also sometimes used for the practice of electing representatives in a direct vote rather than indirectly through an electing body, such as the electoral college, and for the recall of elected officeholders.

Direct democracy may be understood as a full-scale system of political institutions, but in modern times it most often consists of specific decision-making institutions within a broader system of representative democracy.


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