The Methodology of “Varieties of Democracy”

By Michael Coppedge, John Gerring, Carl Henrik Knutsen, Joshua Krusell, Juraj Medzihorsky, Josefine Pernes, Svend-Erik Skaaning, Natalia Stepanova, Jan Teorell, Eitan Tzelgov, Steven L. Wilson, Staffan I. Lindberg

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Published in Bulletin of Sociological Methodology, online 18 July 2019



This article describes and discusses the new generation of methodological responses to measuring democracy and related issues generated by Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem). V-Dem is distinct in several regards in addition to its unique level of disaggregation, by the combination of: historical data extending back to 1900 and for a large selection among them to 1789 for many countries in the world; use of multiple, independent coders for each evaluative question; inter-coder reliability tests incorporated into a custom designed Bayesian item-response theory measurement model; provision of confidence bounds for all point estimates associated with expert-coded questions as well as for all indices; multiple indices reflecting varying theories of democracy; fully transparent aggregation procedures; and that all data are made freely available, including original coder-level judgments (exclusive of any personal identifying information).

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Published Sep. 9, 2019 1:56 PM - Last modified Sep. 9, 2019 1:56 PM