In the more developed countries, democracy was liberal in the first part of the twentieth century, social-democratic in the second part, and now is in transition to republican or participative democracy. Liberal democracy followed Schumpeter’s definition and was elitist. Social-democracy may also be called “plural” and “public opinion democracy”, in so far as electors’ general views become politicians’ central concern. Recently democracy is turning republican or participatory, as the public space becomes a reality and an increasing number of citizens seek to influence political decisions through civil society’s organizations either representing group interests or directly promoting the public interest. In the future, we may think in a deliberative democracy, as public debate gains density, political advocacy gains strength, and politicians’ accountability is enhanced. A short survey of the literature on participative democracy substantiates the argument.
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