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Democratic Quality in Stable Democracies

  • Author(s): Lijphart, Arend;
  • et al.

The major predecessor to Ringen’s and my own efforts to measure democratic quality in terms of the purpose of democracy is Robert Dahl’s seminal book Polyarchy (1971). Measuring the quality of democracy requires two prior judgments: (1) making sure that, in terms of institutional characteristics, a country is sufficiently democratic, and that, as a minimum, it has universal suffrage, and (2) that its democracy has been uninterrupted for a minimum number of years. To an important extent, higher democratic quality can be attributed to institutional characteristics of consensus democracy, especially proportional representation.

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