Measuring high level democratic principles using the V-Dem data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


While the definition of extended conceptions of democracy has been widely discussed, the measurement of these constructs has not attracted similar attention. In this article we present new measures of polyarchy, liberal democracy, deliberative democracy, egalitarian democracy, and participatory democracy that cover most polities in the period 1900 to 2013. These indices are based on data from a large number of indicators collected through the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project. We present and discuss the theoretical considerations and the concrete formula underlying the aggregation of indicators and components into high level measures of democracy. In addition, we show how these measures reflect variations in quality of democracy, given the respective ideals, in 2012. In the conclusion scholars are encouraged to make use of the rich dataset made available by V-Dem.


  • Jan Teorell
  • Michael Coppedge
  • Staffan I Lindberg
  • Svend-Erik Skaaning
External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Aarhus University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-593
JournalInternational Political Science Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch

Related projects

Jan Teorell & Staffan I Lindberg


Project: ResearchInternational collaboration

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