Political Science

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Winston Churchill, a prominent British politician, once said in the 1940s: “The democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried”. At first sight, the statement seems to epitomize the satirical personality of Winston Churchill and the expert way he could master any political debates both within and outside the governmental apparatus; that the phrase was coined ironically with little significance and nevertheless was accepted as a part of mankind’s legacy. But, if looked at carefully, it provokes a variety of questions. What was democracy for Churchill? Which other types of government did he talk about? Finally, how supportive was that Churchill’s quote of democracy in general? As a matter of fact, the answers could not be provided by the character himself, and therefore the realm of speculation had to be entered by many political scientists to interpret Churchill as thoroughly as possible. One of the fundamental parts of academic discourse which many those scholars had to resolve in this particular case was the definition of democracy. Literally, it is translated from the Greek as “the rule of the people”. However, it raises even more questions: who constitute the people and how do they exercise their rule? Besides, there are different dimensions of democracy that create several types of it such as minimal, procedural and substantive , as well (Dahl). It can also be differentiated based on the electoral system - single-member district plurality or proportional - and whether it is parliamentary or presidential. If that path was followed, it would require a lot of assumptions and their justification which would take too much time and would not approach the understanding of the Churchill’s st... ... middle of paper ... ...ly repressed and discriminated in every sphere of social life. The people in autocracies generally cannot form interest groups and show persistence in their desire to improve their lives by competition, which further leads to the weakening of the state on the whole. In the end, the crucial question for autocracies remains whether they could stay for longer periods as they are essentially inherently unstable. The extreme case of what might happen next if the aforementioned issues are not sufficiently addressed might be observed via focusing on the recent Arab Spring events when the enduring autocratic regimes were overthrown and challenged across many states in Middle East. How they will further evolve as a governmental entity and whether they could resolve the issues without turning democratic should be the interesting case to research on in the foreseeable future.

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