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Posted on April 24th, 2014, by

based on the fact that people is the source of power in the state, democratic policy is needed for the common good, and for the most part, believed in the existence of inalienable human rights (Baradat 62-70).

Thus, in “The Elements of Law”¯ and “Leviathan”¯, Hobbes deduced state from the idea of public contract providing restriction of rights and freedoms of individuals in the favor of the state. State power is presented in this concept as an expression of the common good and is absolute, and the power of Parliament should not be absolutely unlimited. The general idea of Rousseau’s “On the Social Contract”¯ is close to the Hobbesian concept: it lies in a complete alienation of each individual with his rights in favor of the community, and universal equality and liberty are extolled as the highest value.

John Locke may be called an intellectual leader of the bloodless revolution of 1688, which led to a parliamentary democracy and the establishment of a new dynasty. In his “Two Treatises of Government”¯, the most revolutionary idea is the need to reject the hereditary power. Locke’s state origin theory argues that the state and government exist due to people who are its citizens, not vice versa: according to Locke, people are the source of power. Another his idea was the principle of division of powers, which is now an inherent attribute of any democratic state.


Democracy is a rather complex, evolving phenomenon. There are several basic features and principles giving an idea of the essence of modern democracy (Baradat 90-111):

1) The people is the only source of the state power. Democracy is based on the completeness of the power of people in all spheres of public life; it is expressed through free elections of representatives of the people.

2) Electivity and removability of the public authorities. Democracy’s feature is that the people’s declaration of will is the result of regular, fair, competitive, free elections, where all parties should have equal chances. Government turnover through free elections should be mandatory.

3) Participation of citizens in formation and activity of public authorities; formal mechanisms of accounting views and interests of the population minority, coordination in decision-making.

4) Political pluralism and legal political opposition. Democracy provides admission of the opposition and various political movements and ideologies to the political stage in the struggle for power.

5) Constitutional state. Democracy is directly related to constitutionalism, and the rule of law in society.

6) Wide range and the effective exercise of human rights, economic, and political freedom of the individual. Protection of minority rights, absence of discriminatory measures against it, guarantee of individual rights and freedoms are the attributes of democracy.

7) The principle of separation of powers into legislative, executive and judicial power – power distribution, as well as

8) Decentralization of the state power.

9) There are also a few other not fundamental principles of democracy, such as openness, transparency, rationality.

Taken together these features though not equally give the idea of democracy. Certain deviations and violations are inevitable. Nevertheless, all these features allow recognizing democracy in various countries.

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