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Democracy for All: Conceptualizing and Measuring Egalitarian Democracy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 April 2018

Abstract

Although equality figures prominently in many foundational theories of democracy, liberal and electoral conceptions of democracy have dominated empirical political science research on topics like political regimes, democratization and democratic survival. This paper develops the concept of egalitarian democracy as a regime that provides de facto protection of rights and freedoms equally across the population, distributes resources in a way that enables meaningful political participation for all citizens and fosters an environment in which all individuals and social groups can influence political and governing processes. Using new indicators from the Varieties of Democracy project, the paper develops and presents measures of these important concepts, demonstrates their relationship to existing measures, and illustrates their utility for advancing the study of democracy in ways that more fully embrace the richness of democratic theory.

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Original Articles
Copyright
© The European Political Science Association 2018 

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Footnotes

*

Rachel Sigman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 93943 (rlsigman@nps.edu). Staffan I. Lindberg is the Professor of Political Science and Director of the V-Dem Institute, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Box 711, SE405 30 Gothenburg (xlista@gu.se). The authors thank Jan Teorell for guidance and Yiting Wang for technical assistance. Helpful comments were provided by Amy Alexander and other participants in the May 2016 V-Dem Conference, and two anonymous reviewers. The authors also thank V-Dem team members for their earlier work on both the conceptualization and construction of the egalitarian indices. The authors are solely responsible for any mistakes. This research project was supported by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Grant M13-0559:1, PI: Staffan I. Lindberg, V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; by Swedish Research Council, PI: Staffan I. Lindberg, V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Jan Teorell, Department of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden; and by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation to Wallenberg Academy Fellow Staffan I. Lindberg, V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; as well as by internal grants from the Vice-Chancellor’s office, the Dean of the College of Social Sciences, and the Department of Political Science at University of Gothenburg. To view supplementary material for this article, please visit https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2018.6

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