Seven aspects of democracy as related to study circles
It is estimated that between 1.2–1.6 million Swedes take part each year in various study circles. These are considered to be significant for democracy. The empirical evidence for this claim is scrutinized in this text. The theoretical basis for the interpretation is meanings given to the concept of democracy in the discourse on democracy. Seven qualitatively different aspects of democracy are thus highlighted: equal participation, horizontal relations, deliberations, knowledge that informs standpoints, recognition of diverse identities, internal democratic decision-making, and action to form society. It is argued that the seven aspects can be looked upon as a chain, since they, to some extent, focus on different phases in a democratic process.