A Bridge between Scholarship and Politics
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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List of Figures and Tables
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The measurement of political concepts, and of democracy in particular, has emerged as a key issue in academic and political circles. Political scientists, responding to the process of democratization that transformed global politics in the late twentieth century, started to address the need for systematic information to analyze this political trend ...
1 Bringing Knowledge to Bear on Politics: The Uses and Misuses of Data in Democracy Promotion
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After the end of the cold war, the promotion of democracy became a concern of a broad spectrum of actors in global politics. Democracy promotion was born as an initiative of the U.S. government, but it grew to become a matter of interest of governments, intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) around the world. ...
2 Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: An Evaluation of Alternative Indices
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The study of democracy—a core concern within comparative politics and international relations—increasingly has drawn upon sophisticated statistical methods of causal inference. This is a welcome development, and the contributions of this quantitative literature are significant. ...
3 Drawing Boundaries: The Crafting of Intermediate Regime Categories
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The notion of convergence around a single political model, a matter of much discussion in the heady days of 1989, increasingly seems to run counter to political realities in the post–cold war era. Thus, even as scholars have recognized the unprecedented shift toward democracy ...
4 Producing and Validating Political Data: The Case of the Electoral Democracy Index
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This chapter seeks to contribute to the ongoing effort to produce data on politics by focusing on the electoral democracy index (EDI), a new index developed to study Latin American countries. The EDI, created by the author in collaboration with Jay Verkuilen for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), ...
5 Assessing Elections: A Methodology for Election Observation Missions
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Democracy is about more than elections. Yet elections are not a distinctive feature of democracies. After all, the usual reference to ‘‘free and fair’’ elections indicates that the elections that are part of democratic systems are characterized by a series of features that serve to distinguish democratic from nondemocratic elections. ...
6 Revisiting Concepts: Democracy and Other Political Values
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The measurement of democracy is inextricably linked with the definition of the concept of democracy. An effort to develop measures starts with conceptual issues (see section 2.1) and constantly reverts back to the content of the concept. A clear sense of the meaning of the concept being measured serves as an essential touchstone in matters of measurement, ...
7 Developing Measures: Beyond Electoral Democracy
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National states have long had an interest in producing data on their resources and populations. The generation of statistics on a wide range of economic, military, demographic, and social issues coincided with the consolidation of government administrative structures; indeed, the term statistics literally means the ‘‘science of the state.’’ ...
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Page Count: 200
Illustrations: 7 line drawings
Publication Year: 2009
Series Title: Democratic Transition and Consolidation