Political freedom (also known as political autonomy or political agency) is a central concept in history and political thought and one of the most important (real or ideal) features of democratic societies. It has been described as a relationship free of oppression or coercion; the absence of disabling conditions for an individual and the fulfillment of enabling conditions; or the absence of lived conditions of compulsion, e.g. economic compulsion, in a society. Although political freedom is often interpreted negatively as the freedom from unreasonable external constraints on action, it can also refer to the positive exercise of rights, capacities and possibilities for action, and the exercise of social or group rights. The concept can also include freedom from “internal” constraints on political action or speech (e.g. social conformity, consistency, or “inauthentic” behaviour.) The concept of political freedom is closely connected with the concepts of civil liberties and human rights, which in democratic societies are usually afforded legal protection from the state.