Democracy is a very popular word these days. There is virtually no country in the world today whose government does not claim to be the government of a democracy. But at the same time, there is virtually no country in the world today about which others -- both inside the country and in other countries -- do not denounce the government as being undemocratic.
There seems to be very little agreement about what we mean when we say a country is democratic. The problem is clear in the very etymology of the word. Democracy comes from two Greek roots -- demos, or people, and kratia, or rule, the authority to decide. But what do we mean by rule? And what do we mean by the people?
Perhaps we should think of democracy as a claim and an aspiration that has not been realized anywhere yet.