A paper as a result of collaboration between the SDR Founding Member, Ms. Vibha Datta Makhija, and student interns from the Georgetown University, USA, and advocates from the Supreme Court of India was published in the Journal of the Indian Law Institute (Chapter 5 – 2021 Vol 63:3).
This paper examines what democracies mean in different ages and regions. Starting from the apology issued by Socrates while defending himself before court for choosing to die for his principles rather than face disgrace, the paper traces the theory of governance of political thinkers across the ages particularly Montesquieu, Hobbes, and Locke. The paper also examines the political thought of modern political thinkers including Gandhi, Amartaya Sen, Daniel Ziblatt, and Steven Levitsky. It finally examines the role of Civil Society in modern democracies and concludes that when the media has failed modern societies as the fourth pillar of democracy, it is time to internalise civil society as the fourth pillar of democracy.
Project lead: Vibha Datta Makhija