Introducing the Historical Varieties of Democracy Dataset: Political institutions in the long 19th century

By Carl Henrik Knutsen, Jan Teorell, Tore Wig, Agnes Cornell, John Gerring, Haakon Gjerløw, Svend-Erik Skaaning, Daniel Ziblatt, Kyle L. Marquardt, Daniel Pemstein and Brigitte Seim

Journal of Peace Research

The Historical Varieties of Democracy dataset (Historical V-Dem) contains about 260 indicators, both factual and evaluative, describing various aspects of political regimes and state institutions. The dataset covers 91 polities globally – including most large, sovereign states, as well as some semi-sovereign entities and large colonies – from 1789 to 1920 for many cases. The majority of the indicators come from the Varieties of Democracy dataset, which covers 1900 to the present – together these two datasets cover the bulk of ‘modern history’. Historical V-Dem also includes several new indicators, covering features that are pertinent for 19th-century polities. We describe the data, coding process, and different strategies employed in Historical V-Dem to cope with issues of reliability and validity and ensure intertemporal and cross-country comparability. To illustrate the potential uses of the dataset we describe patterns of democratization in the ‘long 19th century’. Finally, we investigate how interstate war relates to subsequent democratization.

 

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Published Aug. 15, 2019 1:04 PM - Last modified Aug. 15, 2019 2:57 PM