Lost in the Gray Zone: Competing Measures of Democracy in the Former Soviet Republics
Seva Gunitsky. 2015. "Lost in the Gray Zone: Competing Measures of Democracy in the Former Soviet Republics." In Ranking the World: Grading States as a Tool of Global Governance, edited by Alexander Cooley and Jack Snyder, p.112-150. Cambridge University Press.
22 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2014 Last revised: 17 Jun 2015
Date Written: 2015
I examine some fundamental problems with measures of democracy in the former Soviet republics. I find that indices often disagree about particular countries, and occasionally even draw contradictory conclusions from observing the same event. Measures of hybrid regimes are particularly unreliable, and regional comparisons of democratic quality are also highly sensitive to measure choice. These differences, I argue, reflect inherent trade-offs in conceptualizing democratic governance. That is, they arise not only from incorrect specifications but from fundamental normative disagreements about a highly contested concept.
Keywords: democracy measures, former soviet republics
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