Measuring Partial Democracies: Rules and their Implementation

Paper by Debarati Basu,  Shabana Mitra &  Archana Purohit: “This paper proposes a new index that focuses on capturing the extent of democracy in a country using not only the existence of rules but also the extent of their implementation. The measure, based on the axiomatically robust framework of (Alkire and Foster, J Public Econ 95:476–487, 2011), is able to moderate the existence of democratic rules by their actual implementation. By doing this we have a meaningful way of capturing the notion of a partial democracy within a continuum between non-democratic and democratic, separating out situations when the rules exist but are not implemented well. We construct our index using V-Dem data from 1900 to 2010 for over 100 countries to measure the process of democratization across the world. Our results show that we can track the progress in democratization, even when the regime remains either a democracy or an autarchy. This is the notion of partial democracy that our implementation-based index measures through a wide-based index that is consistent, replicable, extendable, easy to interpret, and more nuanced in its ability to capture the essence of democracy…(More)”.