Two Persistent Dimensions of Democracy: Contestation and Inclusiveness

44 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2008

See all articles by Michael Coppedge

Michael Coppedge

University of Notre Dame - Kellogg Institute; University of Notre Dame, Department of Political Science

Angel Alvarez

Central University of Venezuela (UCV) - Instituto de Estudios Politicos

Claudia Maldonado

CIDE

Abstract

Because democracy is central to much comparative and international political research, it is crucial for political scientists to measure it validly. We challenge the common assumption that most existing indicators of democracy measure the same single dimension. We present eleven different streams of evidence to show that about three-quarters of what Polity, Freedom House, and other indicators of democracy have been measuring consists of variation on the two dimensions of democracy that Robert Dahl proposed in Polyarchy - contestation and inclusiveness. These two dimensions were consistently fundamental to the most commonly used indicators of democracy from 1950 to 2000. Our analysis produces new indicators of contestations and inclusiveness for most countries from 1950 to 2000.

Keywords: democracy, measurement, indicators, polyarchy, Dahl, Polity, Freedom House, dimensions, factor analysis, principal components analysis, pca

Suggested Citation

Coppedge, Michael and Alvarez, Angel and Maldonado, Claudia, Two Persistent Dimensions of Democracy: Contestation and Inclusiveness. Journal of Politics, Vol. 70, No. 3, July 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1096692

Michael Coppedge

University of Notre Dame - Kellogg Institute ( email )

Hesburgh Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

University of Notre Dame, Department of Political Science

216 Hesburgh Center
Notre Dame, IN New South Wales 46556-5646
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nd.edu/~mcoppedg/crd

Angel Alvarez (Contact Author)

Central University of Venezuela (UCV) - Instituto de Estudios Politicos ( email )

Caracas
Venezuela

Claudia Maldonado

CIDE ( email )

Carretera Mexico Toluca 3655
Col. Lomas de Santa Fe
Mexico City, Mexico 01210
Mexico

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
940
Abstract Views
7,155
rank
25,976
PlumX Metrics