Rethinking Consensus vs. Majoritarian Democracy

29 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2018

See all articles by Michael Coppedge

Michael Coppedge

University of Notre Dame - Kellogg Institute; University of Notre Dame, Department of Political Science

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

Arend Lijphart's distinction between two dimensions of consensus and majoritarian democracy has been an influential concept. However, several scholars have reported that the distinction does not travel well to other regions or historical periods. This paper argues, more generally, that Lijphart's dimensions can be replicated only when using Lijphart's own data. If one substitutes conceptually similar indicators (in this case, mostly from V-Dem), three or four dimensions emerge, and they are not robust to different samples. Such substitutions would be necessary for anyone wishing to measure Lijphart's dimensions beyond his chosen cases. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that these concepts are not generally useful. However, it is possible to construct a couple of simple indices measuring thinner related concepts.

Suggested Citation

Coppedge, Michael, Rethinking Consensus vs. Majoritarian Democracy (October 2018). V-Dem Working Paper 2018:78. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3271512 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3271512

Michael Coppedge (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame - Kellogg Institute ( email )

Hesburgh Center
Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

University of Notre Dame, Department of Political Science

216 Hesburgh Center
Notre Dame, IN New South Wales 46556-5646
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nd.edu/~mcoppedg/crd

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