Discipline: Political Science
Theory of direct self-government.
Democracy is rule by all the people, and thus requires direct participation in the making of decisions and the passing of laws. Such a form of government is only possible in small communities such as the city states of classical Greece, though it is aspired to in the arguments of Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).
Direct democracy is contrasted with representative democracy.
David Held, Models of Democracy (Oxford, 1987)