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V-Dem Comparisons and Contrasts with Other Measurement Projects

Working paper
Authors Michael Coppedge
John Gerring
Staffan I Lindberg
Svend-Erik Skaaning
Jan Teorell
Publisher University of Gothenburg, Varieties of Democracy Institute: Working Paper No. 45. April 2017
Place of publication Gothenburg
Publication year 2017
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
V-Dem Institute
Language en
Links https://www.v-dem.net/en/news-publi...
Subject categories Political Science

Abstract

For policymakers, activists, academics, and citizens around the world the conceptualization and measurement of democracy matters. The needs of democracy promoters and social scientists are convergent. We all need better ways to measure democracy. In the first section of this document we critically review the field of democracy indices. It is important to emphasize that problems identified with extant indices are not easily solved, and some of the issues we raise vis-à-vis other projects might also be raised in the context of the V-Dem project. Measuring an abstract and contested concept such as democracy is hard and some problems of conceptualization and measurement may never be solved definitively. In the second section we discuss in general terms how the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project differs from extant indices and how the novel approach taken by V-Dem might assist the work of activists, professionals, and scholars.

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