The What/Why Series: What is Democracy?

Lesson 2: What is Democracy?


What is Democracy?

There are two different types of democracy: direct and representative. Representative democracy is more common–but it also makes the process of getting things done rather tricky! The original Greek definition and President Lincoln’s words might help us to understand democracy a bit better, as well as how today’s citizens can get involved.

Continue the Convo

  • Discuss: In the Wikipedia entry for "democracy," there are two maps (on the left-hand side under "characteristics"). These maps compare the countries that call themselves a democracy, versus how they rank on the “Democracy Index.” What stands out to you? What can you infer by looking at the maps? Discuss with a friend or in a small group.
  • Watch the two GCF videos about Echo Chambers and Filter Bubbles. Then discuss the following questions:
  1. How does the phrase “birds of a feather flock together” relate to echo chambers? Why is it important to listen to and consider other people’s perspectives–specifically those you don’t agree with?
  2. Oftentimes democracy leads to bipartisan politicsThis means that there are two political parties who oppose each other on a lot of issues. How might echo chambers and filter bubbles worsen this division–making it hard for the two parties to see eye to eye?