Following are the different phases in the expansion of democracy in the world:
The Beginning – In the initial phase, democratic struggles often centered around the questions of political equality, freedom and justice. Though there were a considerable number of countries that had democratic governments in this phase, many of them did not extend the right to vote to all the citizens, thus not allowing ‘universal adult franchise to operate. Some only granted the right to the propertied classes, some disallowed women to vote while some discriminated on the basis of race and colour.
End of Colonialism – This was an important intermediary phase in the expansion of democracy across the globe. Around the middle of the 20th century, the various European colonies spread across Asia and Africa began to gain independence and a majority of them immediately adopted democracy as a form of governance. However, a sizeable number of them could not consolidate the democratic regime and fell prey to either dictatorial control or military coups.
Recent Phase – This phase saw a renewed push for democracy all over the world. Democracy was revived in many Latin American countries after 1980 and the fall of the Soviet Union saw a blossoming of democratic states in the formerly communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe. Though overall, there has been an explicit trend throughout the world to move more and more towards democratic government, there are still a few countries like Myanmar, China, Cuba and North Korea which do not extend democratic rights to its people.