ECPR General Conference
Universität Hamburg, Hamburg
22 - 25 August 2018




Democratic Regression in a Multidimensional Perspective: Macro-Level and Micro-Level Developments

Comparative Politics
 
Democracy
 
Political Cultures
 
Presenter
Dirk Berg-Schlosser
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Authors
Dirk Berg-Schlosser
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Ursula Hoffmann-Lange
University of Bamberg

Abstract
The Freedom House data show more movements if we look at the more differentiated scales for Political Rights and Civil Liberties than if only the status of a country as free, partly free or unfree is taken into account. If we limit the analysis to those 138 countries that were assigned a status of either free or partly free in 1996, it can be seen that improvements in civil liberties were more common than declines during the period from 1985 to 2007 than afterwards. Since 2007, the number of countries with declines in civil liberties has increased, while only a few countries show improved ratings. This calls for a multi-dimensional analysis that takes into account different aspects of liberal democracy and governance. Our macro analysis is based on the V-Dem data and the governance data of the World Bank. It compares the developments in fragile as well as consolidated democracies for the period from roughly 1985 to 2015. The macro analysis will be complemented by a micro analysis of World Values Survey data that include 36 electoral democracies which participated at least in the last two waves of the WVS. The micro analysis looks into different aspects of political legitimacy such as support for democracy, confidence in governmental institutions and political parties as well as support for egalitarian values. Combining the two strands of analysis allows to determine whether a decline in democratic quality has resulted in a decline in political legitimacy.
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"Politics determines the process of "who gets what, when, and how"" - Harold Lasswell


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