Direct Democracy

Direct democracy (also known as pure democracy) is a form of democracy in which people decide (e.g. vote on, form consensus on) policy initiatives directly Wikipedia .

A Landsgemeinde, or assembly, of the Canton of Glarus, on 7 May 2006, Switzerland.

Depending on the particular system in use, direct democracy might entail passing executive decisions, the use of Sortition, making laws, directly electing or dismissing officials and conducting trials.

Two leading forms of direct democracy are Participatory Democracy and Deliberative Democracy.

Most countries that are representative democracies allow for three forms of political action that provide limited direct democracy: Referendum (plebiscite), initiative, and recall.


Writers with anarchist sympathies have argued that direct democracy is opposed to a Strong Central Authority, as decision making power can only reside at one level – with the people themselves or with the central authority.[4]

Some of the most important modern thinkers who were inspired by the concept of direct democracy are Cornelius Castoriadis, Hannah Arendt, and Pierre Clastres.


The earliest known direct democracy is said to be the Athenian Democracy in the 5th century BC, although it was not an inclusive democracy: women, foreigners and slaves were excluded from it.

The Athenian democracy was direct not only in the sense that decisions were made by the assembled people, but also in the sense that the people through the assembly, boulê and law courts controlled the entire political process and a large proportion of citizens were involved constantly in the public business.[5]

Modern democracies do not resemble the Athenian system.