Defining Democracy

In defending the thesis that “democracies never go to war with other
democracies
“, Dean’s World provides an intriguing and rigorous
definition of democracy:
While acknowledging that there is always
some imprecision in these things, a working definition accepted by political
scientists who endorse the Democratic Peace Theory amounts to (assuming I’m
reading it properly):
1. The nation must hold competitive
elections. To be defined as competitive, there must be at least two formally
independent political parties (or similar groups).
2. 50% or more of the adult population
must be allowed to vote.
3. Those in legislative and executive
power must have been put into place by said elections.
4. There must have been at least one
peaceful, constitutional transfer of power between independent political
parties.
Nations which do not meet all four
conditions might be considered proto-democracies or emerging democracies or
republics, but would not be considered democracies until they met all four
conditions.
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