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Democratization (2nd edn)

Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Christian Welzel, and Ronald F. Inglehart
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date: 19 June 2024

p. 524. Measuring Democracy and Democratizationlocked

p. 524. Measuring Democracy and Democratizationlocked

  • Patrick Bernhagen


This chapter considers problems associated with classifying countries as democracies and non-democracies and measuring the extent to which a country has advanced on the path of democratization. It first examines different concepts and dimensions of democracy such as political sovereignty, political liberty, competition, participation, freedom of expression and belief, and rule of law. Using publicly available quantitative indices of democracy, the chapter illustrates the problems faced by researchers of translating these concepts into measures. It also asks whether democracy should be thought of as a property that is either present or absent, or, alternatively, a characteristic that can be present to a greater or lesser extent. Finally, it discusses various hybrid regime categories for their contribution to efforts of classifying and measuring political regimes.

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