What is democracy? Why should we value it? What is the relation between democracy and individual rights? Is majority rule always democratic? Why do we have political parties? Are some electoral systems more democratic than others? What is the relation between nationalism and democracy, or democracy and a market economy? How can democracy be maintained and improved? What difference does it make to ordinary people? What is its future?
These are only some of the questions addressed in this important new textbook. Its authors were specially commissioned by UNESCO to assemble eighty of the most pressing questions about democracy in the world today, and to provide clear and authoritative answers to them. The result is a masterpiece of succinct exposition, which will be of value to all those who want to know more about democratic theory and practice, of value to students, interested citizens, political activists or employees in the public service, whether they live in established or developing democracies.
The questions are systematically arranged in six sections: basic concepts and principles; free and fair elections; open and accountable government; individual rights and their defence; democratic or civil society; the future of democracy. The book forms an outstanding introduction to what is, perhaps, the most important concept in politics.show more