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Discussion: Concepts of Contemporary Democratic Governance
The concept of democracy is not unique or original to the United States. The first documented democratic society was ancient Greece. Ancient Greece actually had a combination direct democracy and representative democracy. A representative democracy is one where the citizens elect representatives to vote on issues for them and a direct democracy is one where all citizens can vote on issues. While direct democracy sounds good, it is difficult to implement because of the potentially high number of people involved. On the other hand, not everyone who lived in Greece was a citizen; large groups were not eligible such as women, slaves, and non-landowners. Preserving the concepts of representative democracy is necessary to sustain the democratic process. Likewise, there are aspects of constitutional democracy to consider when reflecting on the state of democratic governance. In addition, the foundations of democratic governance are rooted in republican forms of government. The intersection of representative democracy, constitutional democracy, and republican forms of government has a bearing on the lasting power of democratic governance as it exists in modern society.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the articles “Representative Democracy as a Necessary Condition for the Survival of a Federal Constitution,” “Republicanism,” and “Democracy” in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider the nature of representative democracy as it relates to democratic governance.
- Reflect on the concepts of representative democracy, constitutional democracy, and republican forms of government and think about how they impact contemporary democratic governance.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 4
Post a brief working definition of representative democracy, constitutional democracy, and republic forms of government. Then, explain how these concepts impact contemporary democratic governance. Provide specific examples to illustrate your points.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.