The Level of Democracy During Interregnum Periods: Recoding the polity2 Score

Political Analysis, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 206-226, 2010

39 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2007 Last revised: 13 Jun 2010

See all articles by Thomas Pluemper

Thomas Pluemper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics; University of Essex - Department of Government

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

The polity2 variable from the Polity IV project is the most popular measure of a country’s political regime. This article contends that the coding rules employed to create a polity2 score during years of so-called interregnum and affected transitions produce a measure of democracy that lacks face validity. Using both single and multiple imputation methods, we construct and evaluate several variables that offer alternative measures to polity2 during such periods. We recommend that scholars using polity2 test whether their results are robust to using our alternatives and using multiple imputation techniques instead. Where robustness cannot be established, scholars need to theoretically justify the choice of either polity2 or one of the alternatives.

Keywords: democracy, interregnum, transition, state failure, anarchy, civil war

Suggested Citation

Plümper, Thomas and Neumayer, Eric, The Level of Democracy During Interregnum Periods: Recoding the polity2 Score (October 1, 2009). Political Analysis, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 206-226, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1010381

Thomas Plümper (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics ( email )

Vienna
Austria

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsci.org/pluemper

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

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