Abstract

Abstract:

As democracy has spread to a majority of the world’s states over the past three decades, many scholars, politicians, activists, and aid administrators have gone from asking why transitions happen to asking what the new regimes are like. This new approach focuses on what makes a democracy “good” or “better,” and on how improvements can not only be measured, but encouraged. While there is no absolutely objective way of laying out a single framework for gauging democratic quality, there are eight dimensions on which democracies vary in quality: freedom, the rule of law, vertical accountability, responsiveness, equality, participation, competition, and horizontal accountability. These dimensions are closely linked and tend to move together, either toward democratic improvement and deepening or toward decay.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3214
Print ISSN
1045-5736
Pages
pp. 20-31
Launched on MUSE
2004-10-13
Open Access
No
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