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The Democracy Cluster Classification Index

  • Mihaiela Ristei Gugiu (a1) and Miguel Centellas (a2)
Abstract

Utilizing hierarchical cluster analysis, a new measure of democracy, the DCC index, is proposed and constructed from five popular indices of democracy (Freedom House, Polity IV, Vanahanen's index of democratization, Cheibub et al.'s index of democracy and dictatorship, and the Cingranelli-Richards index of electoral self-determination). The DCC was used to classify the regime types for twenty-four countries in the Americas and thirty-nine countries in Europe over a thirty-year period. The results indicated that democracy is a latent class variable. Sensitivity and specificity analyses were conducted for the five existing democracy indices as well as the newly proposed Unified Democracy Scores index and a predicted DCC score. This analysis revealed significant problems with existing measures. Overall, the predicted DCC index attained the highest level of accuracy although one other index achieved high levels of accuracy in identifying nondemocracies.

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e-mail: gugiu.1@osu.edu (corresponding author)
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Authors' note: We thank P. Cristian Gugiu for his valuable analytical suggestions, Jose Antonio Cheibub for so generously making the data set “Dictatorship and Democracy Revisited” available to us, and the editors and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments which improved our article. Data to replicate the statistical analyses in this article are available at http://hdl.handle.net/1902.1/20393. Supplementary materials for this article are available on the Political Analysis Web site.

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