Procedural democracy

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Procedural democracy or proceduralist democracy or proceduralism is a term used to denote the particular procedures, such as regular elections based on universal suffrage, that produce an electorally-legitimated government.[1][2][3] Procedural democracy, with its centering of electoral processes as the basis of democratic legitimacy, is often contrasted with substantive or participatory democracy, which centers the equal participation of all groups in society in the political process as the basis of legitimacy.[2][4]

The term is often used to denote an artificial appearance of democracy through the existence of democratic procedures like elections when in reality power is held by a small group of elites who manipulate democratic processes to make themselves appear democratically legitimate. [1][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Saikal, Amin. "Democracy and Democratization". Encyclopedia Princetoniensis. Princeton University. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b Kaldor, Mary (27 May 2014). "Democracy in Europe after the Elections". Euro Crisis in the Press. London School of Economics. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  3. ^ Saffon, Maria Paula; Urbinati, Nadia (1 June 2013). "Procedural Democracy, the Bulwark of Equal Liberty". Political Theory. 41 (3): 441–481. doi:10.1177/0090591713476872. ISSN 0090-5917. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  4. ^ Sarajlic, Eldar (18 February 2014). "The perils of procedural democracy: a lesson from Bosnia". openDemocracy. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  5. ^ Kok Wah Loh, Francis (29 February 2008). "Procedural democracy, participatory democracy and regional networking: the multi‐terrain struggle for democracy in Southeast Asia". Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. 9: 127–141. doi:10.1080/14649370701789740. S2CID 154965387 – via Taylor & Francis Online.