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Report on Prerequisites of Successful Working of Democracy

Democracy is not only an ideal or a goal but also essentially a functioning system which therefore has to be built up on constructing arrangement. In other words, democracy is an objective that countries strive to attain in an apparently endless process of evolution. In this process the form, shape and content of democracy may vary from environment to environment and thus no two democracies can be regarded as totally similar. Nevertheless, democracy essentially requires some prerequisites which ensure that ruling authority is based on popular mandate and remains accountable to the people[1].
S.M. Lipset suggested three major prerequisites of a stable democracy such as[2]:

I. A value system allowing the peaceful play of power
II. Periodic awarding of effective authority to one group
III. Conditions for the existence of an effective opposition
Robert Dahl used polyarchy as synonymous to democracy. He suggested eight preconditions for the smooth working of democracy which are[3]:
i. Freedom to join and form associations;
ii. Right to vote;
iii. Freedom of expressions;
iv. Eligibility for public office;
v. Right of political leaders to compete for support and votes;
vi. Alternative source of information;
vii. Free an fair election; and
 viii. Institutions for making government policies dependent on votes and other expression of preferences
To sum up, the prerequisites for the success of democracy can be categorized primarily into two types such as; a) institutional and b) non-institutional prerequisites. These are briefly discussed in the below:

[1] Iftekharuzzaman,  Rahman,, Mahbubur “Transition to Democracy in Bangladesh: Issues and Outlook” BIISS Journal, Vol. XII, No. 1, 1991, p-97
[2] Lipset, S.M. Political Man , New Delhi, 1973, p. 46
[3] Dhal, Robert, Polyarchy: Participation and Opposition, New Haven, 1971, p.3