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Sequential Requisites Analysis: A New Method for Analyzing Sequential Relationships in Ordinal Data*

Journal article
Authors Patrik Lindenfors
Joshua Krusell
Staffan I. Lindberg
Published in Social Science Quarterly
Volume 100
Issue 3
Pages 838-856
ISSN 0038-4941
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Political Science
V-Dem Institute
Pages 838-856
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12588
Subject categories Political Science

Abstract

© 2019 The Authors. Social Science Quarterly published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Southwestern Social Science Association Objectives: This article presents a new method inspired by evolutionary biology for analyzing longer sequences of requisites for the emergence of particular outcome variables across numerous combinations of ordinal variables in social science analysis. Methods: The approach is a sorting algorithm through repeated pairwise investigations of states in a set of variables and identifying what states in the variables occur before states in all other variables. We illustrate the proposed method by analyzing a set of variables from version 7.1 of the V-Dem data set (Coppedge et al. 2017. Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Project; Pemstein et al. 2017. University of Gothenburg, Varieties of Democracy Institute: Working Paper No. 21). With a large set of indicators measured over many years, the method makes it possible to identify and compare long, complex sequences across many variables. Results: This affords an opportunity, for example, to disentangle the sequential requisites of failing and successful sequences in democratization, or if requisites are different during different time periods. Conclusions: For policy purposes, this is instrumental: Which components of democracy occur earlier and which later? Which components of democracy are therefore the ideal targets for democracy promotion at different stages?.

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