Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Compound democracy is both a model of organization and functioning of a political system and a political theory. As a model, it is characteristic of those political systems that aggregate previously independent and asymmetrical states or territorial units. As a political theory, it justifies the need to prevent the formation of permanent political majorities, which might jeopardize the relations between the asymmetrical states. This is why compound democracies are organized along the lines of multiple separations of powers and function through the reciprocal control of the (horizontal and vertical) separated institutions. These democracies cannot be assimilated to the nation-states democracies, which are generally organized around fusion of power at the horizontal (governmental) level, even though some of them have separation of powers at the vertical (states) level. In compound democracies, separation of powers is at both vertical and horizontal levels. Within established democracies, there are only three cases of multiple ...