Democracy [dɪˈmɒkrəsi] (‘rule of the people’) refers to political systems and forms of government in which state power is held by the people. De­mocracies are characterised among other things by ­respect for human rights, the separation of powers, accountability of government, independence of the judiciary, the principle of legality of the administration, a multi-party system, and free and fair elections conducted by secret ballot.

  • Essay democracy

    People around the globe yearn for democracy – at least when it offers more than elections. Stefano Palestini explains why the Chilean example is a case in point.
  • Infographic democracy

    Opinions, feelings and hypotheses about the state of democracy abound. A look at the world of facts and figures helps to put things in perspective.
  • In focus

    For the first time, Ugandans are helping to reshape their country’s energy policy. Lawyer Claudia Apio takes her message around local villages calling for real change.