Abstract: At the present stage of social development in the framework of globalization and large-scale transformation of the social relations the society is undergoing the process of complication: new identities, groups, institutions are being generated which somehow become part of political events and impact on the social and political relations. The growing individualization of the subjects of the social process as well as the complexity of the social structure, complicates the process of self-identification of people as a source of power and achievement of consensus in the definition of the common good. These circumstances actualize the problem of the study of the theory of democracy and the subsequent development of a model that would be adequate to modern conditions and allow closing the gap, on the one hand, between theory and practice and on the other-between the nominal representation and direct implementation of people power. In addition, at the moment humanitarian knowledge does not have an unequivocal determination of the content of the democracy concept which is caused by the need for academic reflection and study of the phenomenon of this social appearance. This study deals with a theoretical analysis of the idea of democracy, different approaches and concepts, especially the classical theory of democracy which was influenced by the ideas of liberalism and developed in the work of Alexis de Tocqueville, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Joseph Schumpeter, Max Weber. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of the possibility of people power, relations between elites and people masses in the works of the founders of study of elites, the role of the party system in the functioning of representative democracy, model of reduction democracy of R. Dahl, known as pluralist democracy or polyarchy, the concept of associative democracy, post-democracy. The authors also explore the hybrid associated with the direct political process, projects of consolidation of public interest and its implementation in the framework of modern democratic practice. In the perspective of actualization of the conceptual content of the article the theme of democratic transition in Russia and the former soviet states is touched upon. The author concludes that implementation of the objectives of democratic reforms in the former Soviet Union should be carried out by means of the conservative modernization.
Varvara Igorevna Blishchenko, Vladimir Georgiyevich Egorov, Dmitry Nikolaevich Ermakov, Sergey Yakovlevich Lavrenov, vladimir Vladimirovich Shtol and Olga Alexandrovna Zozulya, 2016. Democracy: An Anthology of Topical Problems. The Social Sciences, 11: 5347-5359.