Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)

Research group
Active research
Project period
2014 - ongoing
Project owner
Department of Political Science

Short description

Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) is a unique approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. We provide a multidimensional and disaggregated dataset that reflects the complexity of the concept of democracy as a system of rule that goes beyond the simple presence of elections. The V-Dem project distinguishes between five high-level principles of democracy: electoral, liberal, participatory, deliberative, and egalitarian, and collects data to measure these principles.

One of the world’s most comprehensive data collection projects

V-Dem is one of the world’s largest-ever social science data collection projects. Since 2014, the V-Dem Institute at the Department of Political Science has had formal responsibility for this collaboration. An updated, and open source version of the V-Dem dataset is released every year in March, with user-friendly analysis tools available on the project’s website.

The V-Dem dataset includes:

  • More than 450 specific indicators
  • Over 50 different indices on democracy and human rights, civil society, legal system, etc.
  • 30 million data points for 202 countries covering the period 1789–2021.

V-Dem is an international, collaborative project involving:

  •  Over 3,700 researchers and other experts from 180 countries
  • A Steering Committee comprised of nine leading international researchers in the field of democracy
  • 18 researchers, program managers, data managers, and assistants at the V-Dem Institute
  • 22 Project Managers
  • 33 Regional Managers
  • 134 Country Coordinators

The complex relationship between democracy and development

We strive to communicate our research results far and wide and to contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between democracy and development. We seek answers to questions such as what conditions must be met in order for democracy to survive and what factors determine women’s share of political power.

Welcome to visit our website

You can find all information about our surveys, results, and data on the Institute's own website: