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direct democracy

Definition of Direct Democracy

(noun) A political system whereby individuals vote on policy issues directly instead of through an elected representative.

Example of Direct Democracy

  • There is no country that has a direct democracy, but Switzerland comes close, because there are systems in place for citizens to challenge laws.

Direct Democracy Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: di·rect de·moc·ra·cy

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /dəˈrɛkt dɪˈmɑkrəsi/
  • British English – /daɪˈrɛkt dɪˈmɒkrəsi/

Usage Notes

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

Calhoun, Craig J., ed. 2002. Dictionary of the Social Sciences. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cane, Peter, and Joanne Conaghan, eds. 2008. The New Oxford Companion to Law. New York: Oxford University Press.

Castree, Noel, Rob Kitchin, and Alisdair Rogers. 2013. A Dictionary of Human Geography. New York: Oxford University Press.

Downs, Anthony. 1957. An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Harper Collins.

Farlex. (N.d.) TheFreeDictionary.com: Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus. Farlex. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/).

Harcup, Tony. 2014. A Dictionary of Journalism. New York: Oxford University Press.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Honderich, Ted., ed. 2005. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary, Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.

McLean, Iain, and Alistair McMillan. 2009. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. Princeton University. (http://wordnet.princeton.edu/wordnet).

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Cite the Definition of Direct Democracy

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “direct democracy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 7, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/direct-democracy/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

direct democracy. (2015). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/direct-democracy/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2015. “direct democracy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 7, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/direct-democracy/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“direct democracy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/direct-democracy/>.