The Varieties of Democracy Core Civil Society Index
41 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2015 Last revised: 24 May 2016
Date Written: December 2015
This paper introduces the Core Civil Society Index (CCSI), a measure of the robustness of civil society, using indicators from the Varieties of Democracy battery on civil society. It begins with a discussion of the reemergence of civil society as a central concept in comparative politics and discusses the existing state of data to capture it. It then discusses the conceptualization behind the CCSI and the construction of the measure. This is followed by a series of face and discriminant validity checks. The paper closes with an example of the CCSI’s utility by examining the question of whether postcommunist civil society is “weak” compared to other regions. We find no evidence that postcommunist civil society is less robust than civil society in other major world regions via time-series cross-sectional analysis using 2999 country-year observations between 1989 and 2012.
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