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Democracy

  • By: Clive Barnett
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Democracy means “rule by the people.” The meaning of the people and of rule is far from straightforward. Delimiting the scope of rule and of the identity of the people are intrinsically geographical processes. Since the 18th century, the normative assumption of much democratic theory has been that the people, or demos, is coterminous with the identity of the nation and that the territorially bounded nation-state is the primary agent of democratic rule and subject of democratic legitimacy. Research on democracy in geography falls into two broad areas: research in electoral geography, which investigates the mechanisms of liberal-representative democracy, and research in critical human geography, which focuses on alternative sites and spaces of democracy.

Electoral Geographies of Liberal-Representative Democracy

Liberal democracy refers to forms of institutionalized popular ...

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