I thought it might be good to ask a question such as this, since while I know the basic arguments, I'm curious as to how other people have found integrating a democratic atmosphere into their communities.
Where do people think democracy works and where do people think other methods are more successful?
Details: For example, let's say this is for an online website/forum community with a good number of base users which is currently using a successful, authoritative structure of experienced members to lead. However after a time, members want to try something new in order to provide more of a voice and a visible decision-making process.
What are the benefits and risks to doing so and how far could democracy be integrated, since from my experience, after a certain point it can destablise things.