P r i n c i p l e s    o f    D e m o c r a c y
(Updated April 2005)
1. Overview: What Is Democracy?
2. Majority Rule, Minority Rights
3. Civil-Military Relations
4. Political Parties
5. Citizen Responsibilities
6. A Free Press
7. Federalism
8. Rule of Law
9. Human Rights
10. Executive Power
11. Legislative Power
12. An Independent Judiciary
13. Constitutionalism
14. Freedom of Speech
15. Government Accountability
16. Free and Fair Elections
17. Freedom of Religion
18. The Rights of Women and Girls
19. Governing by Coalitions and Compromise
20. The Role of Nongovernmental Organizations
21. Education and Democracy

This page contains 21 pieces in a new series of one-page primers on the fundamentals of democracy produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs.

Although the term is ubiquitous in today's world, explaining "democracy" can be challenging. This series provides the reader with an overview paper and then breaks down the specific elements of democratic governance into individual topics. Each paper in the series reflects both the thinking of mainstream theorists and common practices of the many free societies now flourishing under systems of democratic governance.

Overview: What Is Democracy?