Democracy without Democratic Values: A Rejoinder to Welzel and Inglehart

Jan Teorell, Axel Hadenius

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


In reply to Welzel and Inglehart in this issue, we deploy three lines of criticism. First, we argue that their newly invented construct "effective democracy" is conceptually and empirically flawed. Second, we show that their results are highly sensitive to model specification. Regardless of the time period, their supportive evidence vanishes if a more pertinent measure of democracy is used instead of measures based on the absence of corruption, if a broader index of socioeconomic modernization is controlled for, and if their compound index of emancipative values is replaced by its core component: liberty aspirations. Third, we find that emancipative values are not a coherent syndrome at the individual level within countries, rendering the causal mechanism linking these values to democracy through collective action unintelligible. We conclude that democratic values are not a robust determinant of democratization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-111
JournalStudies in Comparative International Development
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science


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