Aggregating Varieties of Democracy Data
18 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 22, 2013
The Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project is generating a new dataset of indicators for various facets of democracy. Although many of the indicators are quite useful by themselves, most users of V-Dem data probably require measures of democracy at a higher level of aggregation.This paper discusses the benefits and drawbacks of aggregation, the challenges faced when aggregating V-Dem data, and several strategies that the V-Dem team will employ to deal with these challenges. It may be that some concepts commonly used in democratic theory are not very useful for describing the most salient empirical dimensions of variation and that less prominent, yet familiar, concepts perform this function well. This aggregation effort therefore has the potential to reshape the way we think about what democracy is, what types of democracy there are, what they have in common, and how they differ.
Keywords: democracy, measurement, conceptualization, aggregation, V-Dem, varieties of democracy
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