The Index of Egalitarian Democracy and its Components: V-Dem's Conceptualization and Measurement
32 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2016 Last revised: 24 May 2016
Date Written: December 1, 2015
Much of the scholarship on democracy was produced in a global context characterized by Cold War ideologies. In this context, democracy often came to be associated with capitalist societies that embody, first and foremost, principles of freedom, competition and self-determination. Equality, in contrast, was more frequently associated with the underlying principles of socialist or communist societies, many of which were ruled autocratically by single parties or absolutist dictators. It is not surprising, then, that the most widely-accepted conceptions of democracy tend to emphasize freedom, competition and participation, and sometimes distinctively liberal aspects such as private property rights, constraints on executive power, and strong, independent judiciaries, much more than they do equality.
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