Regimes in the World (RIW): A Robust Regime Type Measure Based on V-Dem

31 Pages Posted: 23 May 2017

See all articles by Anna Lührmann

Anna Lührmann

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute; Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Marcus Tannenberg

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: May 2017

Abstract

Classifying political regimes has never been as difficult as in this day and age. Most regimes in the world now hold de-jure multiparty elections with universal suffrage. Yet, in some countries these elections ensure that political rulers are – at least somewhat – accountable to the electorate whereas in others they are a mere window dressing exercise for authoritarian politics. Hence, regime types need to be distinguished based on the de-facto implementation of democratic rules. To this end, researchers increasingly turn to expert-coded data sets such as the new Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) dataset. Using V-Dem data, we propose an operationalization of four important regime types – closed and electoral autocracies; electoral and liberal democracies – with vast coverage (almost all countries form 1900 to 2016) and precision. Our new Regimes in the World (RIW) measure includes uncertainty estimates to identify countries in the grey zone between regime types and account for inter-coder disagreement. In cases of disagreement with other datasets (7-12% of the cases), we classify regimes with severe electoral manipulation and infringements of the political freedoms more frequently as electoral autocracies than other datasets, which suggests that our measure captures the opaqueness of contemporary autocracies better.

Suggested Citation

Lührmann, Anna and Lindberg, Staffan I. and Tannenberg, Marcus, Regimes in the World (RIW): A Robust Regime Type Measure Based on V-Dem (May 2017). V-Dem Working Paper 2017:47. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2971869 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2971869

Anna Lührmann (Contact Author)

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se/varianter-pa-demokrati--v-dem-/

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se

Marcus Tannenberg

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

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