Politics: Power and Democracy in Relation to Athens

Topics: Democracy, Liberal democracy, Representative democracy Pages: 6 (2164 words) Published: December 17, 2012

Outline the main features of Athenian and liberal democracies and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. Which represents a more radical model of politics? Introduction:
This essay will explain two different types of democracy Athenian and Liberal, by discussing their pros and cons it will lead to the conclusion of which was most radical. The essay will include how Athenian democracy worked, looking at the institutions it had in place, the idea of civic liberty and pride, political participation and the idea of direct democracy. It will also look at the differences between them and compare direct democracy to liberal democracy. The liberal democracy section will look at liberal values, the aim of a fair and just society, and their voting systems as well as the rest of their advantages and disadvantages. In the end I will assess and conclude to which has a more radical model in which I hope to explain the meaning of politics and democracy. The term democracy is used very broadly but does have a definition. It is a political system that is controlled or is invested in the population of citizens. Democracy is a vital part of the politics which is defined by: the “art” of ruling or more preferably governing a state and in the state of countries the running, administration, protection of its citizens and interests. Athenian democracy is recognised as a very radical system for its time its strengths and weaknesses will be compared to direct democracy and the elitist, pluralists and Marxists ideas on the spread of power both in modern and contemporary views.

Define democracy and politics.
There are many forms of democracy most forms of democracy are placed under governments and the state is either governed by the people directly or by elected representatives. This is done by fair elections and the populations vote disregards any economical classes or other categorical factors. There is a constitution that is followed that grants citizens their rights. In direct democracy the people have sovereignty but when the representatives are elected they are placed in institutions which have the sovereignty. These institutions include an assembly, the courts and a council of sorts. Democracy insinuates that the people can propose and pass laws and are seen as “equal in the eyes of the law”. There are three main variants of democracy which are direct, liberal and representative. They all incorporate freedom of opinion, such as free speech, impartial mass media, the ability to join (opposing) political parties and pressure groups. This is inclusive of trade unions, single cause groups and the right to E-petitions. Separation of powers is also part of democracy and it splits within institutions. These are courts of law, which are independent and have all the judicial power, the parliament or assembly which have the power to review, consider and pass laws and the government which has the executive power. Religious liberty which allows practise of all religion and is not relevant in the running of the state. Fair voting by election and the ability to withdraw the elected. Good governing of the state includes keeping the public’s interests at heart and maintain basic human rights. Athenian democracy:

Athenian democracy was the first major political functioning democracy. There were many democracies in cities all around Greece but the best documented was Athens. In Athens you were granted political participation only if you were a citizen, which was determined by being of double descent Athenian and being a male over the age of 20 years. Of a population of 250,000 anything between 30,000 and 40,000 were granted citizenship whom were given the right to be politically involved in the running of Athens, more than that there was a sense of civic pride. “We do not say a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business: we say he has no business at all” (Thuncyidies) It was a form of...
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