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Representative Democracy
Representative democracy
Definition

Representative democracy is a type of democracy in which the citizens of the state exercise their popular sovereignty through legitimately elected representatives. In a representative democracy, the citizens choose their representatives by voting in elections. Typically the chosen representatives then congregate in a legislative assembly where they debate policy and determine legislation. Such representative democracy is often contrasted with more direct or participatory forms of democracy in which citizens play an active role in the decision-making process.

The classical theory of representative democracy suggests that the representatives should act in accordance with the will or interests of the citizens. Yet, the representatives do not simply act as a proxy for the relevant citizens; rather, they have considerable discretion, and so can adopt the ...

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