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How to Measure Democracy?

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by

Theres Debul

on 12 March 2015

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Transcript of How to Measure Democracy?

Outline
How to Measure Democracy?
by Theres Debul, Betul Selva Unal & Janus Keck
1 Theoretical Background
2 Measurements
2.1 Freedom House Index
2.2 Bertelsmann Transformation Index
2.3 The Pluralistic Dataset (Vanhanen Index)
3 Case Studies
4 Critique & Conclusion
4 Critique & Conclusion
Numerous strategies to measure democracy for empirical analysis
= limited ability to capture the context-specific features of democracy
3 criteria for measuring democracy:
Validity
Reliability
Replicability
Measure Democracy
= to test causal relationships between democracy and various economic and political outcomes
For the causal relationships to be statistically valid
= many observations are included in the models
Why measure democracy?
Democracy and
Political Decision-Making
Economic Development
Aid Conditionality
3 Case Studies
Comparing Freedomhouse and the Polyarchy Dataset)
Country/Time
Tunesia
Turkey
Denmark
1985
1990
1995
2000
FH
FH
FH
PD
PD
PD
5
n/a
4,5
5,5
5,5
2,61
0,39
1,51
4
3
5
4,5
20,21
29,05
1
1
1
1
31,84
33,13
41,7
39,46
41,81
41,19
Comments:
FH - Freedom house PD - The Polyarchy Dataset 1) The Polyarchy Dataset only collects data until 2000
Bertelsmann Transformation Index
- comparing Tunisia in 2008...

... to 2014

2 Measurements
Mission Statement
Watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world
“Freedom is possible only in democratic political environments where governments
are accountable to their own people; the rule of law prevails; and freedoms of
expression, association and belief, as well as respect for the rights of minorities and women,are guaranteed.”
Methodology: Two ratings(on a 1 to 7 scale)
Political Rights Checklist
Civil Liberties Checklist
Electoral Process
Political Pluralism & Participation
Functioning of Government
Freedom of Expression & Belief
Associational & Organizational Rights
Rule of Law
Nations worldwide are classified as: Free, Partly Free, Not Free Status
A.
Free: 1,0
B.
Partly Free: 3,0 to 5,0
C.
Not Free: 5,5 to 7,0
(https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/MapofFreedom2014.pdf)
Definition of Transformation
“Comprehensive and politically driven change in which an authoritarian system [...] evolve in the direction of
democracy and a market based economy.”
Methodology
129 countries
aggregates the results of comprehensive studies into two indicies:
1. Status Index:
assessing the state of political and economic transformation
2. Management Index:
assessing the acumen with which decision-maker steer political processes
Rating
Ordinal scale between 1(least development) and 10 (high development)
No aggregated overall index
based on Dahl's democracy definition:
“Dahl's (1971) two theoretical dimensions of democracy - public contestation and the right to participate - encapsulate the most important characteristics of democracy. I have called these dimensions 1. competition and 2. participation.”
Methodology
1. Competition:
Share of votes of 'smaller parties' in parliamentary or presidential elections, is used to indicate the degree of competition
2. Participation:
Percentage of the population which actually voted in the same elections is used to measure the degree of participation
3. Index of Democratization:
competition x participation
100
Rating
countries with high index values are democracies and countries with low index values non-democracies
no natural index level for differentiating
range from 0 to 50
(http://www.uznews.net/con_images/iu/t/610x385/1/12625.jpg)
(http://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/bst/de/img/content/querformat/Cover_Logo_BTI-2010_260x180.jpg)
Forms of Measurement
Democracy as an 'All or Nothing' Affair
Democracy Scales
Objective Measures of Democracy
Hybrid Measures of Democracy
Perceptions of Democracy & Trust in Institutions
Measurements are predicted on:
definitions of democracy
measures and assessments of democracy
identification of significant empirical relationships & entry points to help build democratic institutions and develop a long term democratic culture within transnational societies
1 Theoretical Background
(http://asecforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/prio_logo_2010.png)
(http://atlas.bti-project.de/share.php?1*2012*CV:CTC:SELTUN*CAT*TUN*REG:TAB)
(http://atlas.bti-project.de/share.php?1*2012*CV:CTC:SELTUN*CAT*TUN*REG:TAB)
(http://www.bti-project.de/index/status-index/) & (http://www.bti-project.de/index/management-index/)
References
Bosin Y.V. (2007) "Measuring Democracy: Approaches and Challenges Associated with Developing Democrating Indices", Washington: IFES
Landmann, T. (2007) "Developing Democracy: Concepts, measures, and Empirical Relationships", International IDEA.
Bernhagen, p. (2009) "Measuring Democracy and Democratization", in Democratization, ed. Christian W. Haerpfer et al., Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 24-40.
Freedom House (2014) "Freedom in the World", online available: https://freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-world#.VGKQcF5jq2w, 13.11.2014, 04:15pm.
The Bertelsmann Stiftung (2014) "Methodology", online available: http://www.bti-project.org/uploads/tx_itao_download/Methodology_02.pdf, 13.11.2014, 04:19pm.
Prio (2014) "Vanhanen's Index of Democracy", online available: http://www.prio.org/Data/Governance/Vanhanens-index-of-democracy/, 13.11.2014, 04:21pm.
Prio (2014) "Introduction: Measures of Democratization", online available: http://www.prio.org/Global/upload/CSCW/Data/Governance/file42501_introduction.pdf, 13.11.2014, 4.14pm.
Discussion
Should we measure democracy? If yes, why?
Are the presented indexes reliable for the evaluation of democracy?
What other criteria can we include in the measurement of democracy?
Do you prefer a certain index? Why?
Full transcript