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Ghan and the Athenian Democracy

            With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the concomitant demise of communism in the twentieth century which shed abroad a spirit of triumphalism through the West, came the euphoric impression that, "history had finally ended with the universal victory of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government". Put differently, Chandran Kukathas claims, "we live in an age of democracy fetishism" and "global political phenomenon of 'democratization." That is, Democracy was hailed as the best form of government hence, an increasing process of democratization in many parts of the world especially in Africa; Army Generals traded their military fatigues for suits to contest elections as politicians in an unprecedented era of democracy.
             The word democracy was coined from the Greek words demos, "the people," and kratia, "to rule." In theory, this was rule by the people for the people as opposed to rule by one (autocracy) or a few (oligarchy), a form of direct democracy in which all citizens could speak and vote in assembly. However, since Roman times, the meaning of democracy has continually shifted, producing many variants. Democracy is now a relative concept; it no longer means the same thing to all people and cultures at all times. O'Neil, 2007 defines it as the exercise of political power through participation, competition and liberty. One popular definition is the one given by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address as, government of the people, by the people and for the people. Democracy may be in two forms; direct or Ancient Athenian democracy which is typical of ancient Greece specifically Athens where the citizens, that is the entire populace excluding women and children, slaves and metics or foreigners, were allowed to participate directly in the affairs of government; or indirect democracy also known as Republicanism which has a historical root in the Roman Empire, where representatives of the public were allowed to participate in the affairs of government.

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