Visualizing Authority Patterns over Space and Time

53 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2020

See all articles by Vanessa Alexandra Boese

Vanessa Alexandra Boese

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute

Scott Gates

Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ; University of Oslo

Carl Henrik Knutsen

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science

Håvard Mokleiv Nygård

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)

Havard Strand

University of Oslo

Date Written: February 11, 2020

Abstract

Unidimensional measures of democracy fail to account for the complex and varied nature of political systems. This article disaggregates the concept of democracy and proposes a multidimensional conceptualization to account for this variation in institutional cofingurations. Three theoretically informed dimensions are featured: participation, electoral contestation, and constraints on the executive. The three dimensions constitute a cube covering all regime types, in which we place countries using V-Dem data from 1789 to 2018. The cube of democracy patterns reveals several interesting observations. We trace historical patterns of democratization and autocratization, and discuss how global and regional developments take different paths at different times. Our conceptualization makes it clear that political systems with a similar score along a unidimensional scale can in fact be quite distinct. In addition, across the globe over 200 years, certain configurations of political institutions never occur. In other words, incompatible institutional pairs do not exist or are extremely short lived. This multidimensional conceptualization ultimately opens up a new field of research in which institutional change can be studied in greater detail across countries and over time.

Keywords: measuring democracy, institutions, Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Data, institutional incompatibility

Suggested Citation

Boese, Vanessa Alexandra and Gates, Scott and Knutsen, Carl Henrik and Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv and Strand, Havard, Visualizing Authority Patterns over Space and Time (February 11, 2020). V-Dem Working Paper 2020: 96, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3536237 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3536237

Vanessa Alexandra Boese (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute ( email )

Sweden

Scott Gates

Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ( email )

N-0260 Oslo
Norway
+472547732 (Phone)
+4722547701 (Fax)

University of Oslo

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

Carl Henrik Knutsen

University of Oslo - Department of Political Science ( email )

Moltke Moesvei 31
Olso, 0851
Norway

Håvard Mokleiv Nygård

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ( email )

Oslo
N-0260 Oslo
Norway

Havard Strand

University of Oslo ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavs plass
Oslo, N-0317
Norway

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