Democracy refers to political practices where communities as large as nation-states and as small as local organizations rule themselves. Such practices have become more global as the nation-state has become the dominant way of organizing the earth's territory. Globalization on the one side and the search for autonomy on the other have challenged this linkage between democracy and the state. New social movements, identity-based organizations, fundamentalist communities, and even states themselves have sought new forms of rule above or below the state. These searches raise basic questions about what democracy means and how it is achieved.