Measuring Effective Democracy: The Human Empowerment Approach

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The core idea inspiring democracy is to empower people. To measure democracy in ways that capture its empowering nature, one must focus on popular rights and take into account rule of law as a state quality that makes these rights effective. Based on this premise, an index of "effective democracy," tested for 150 states, best represents the empowering nature of democracy because it most clearly captures democracy's embedding in empowering conditions in the wider society. Effective democracy is shown to be most firmly embedded in (a) empowering socioeconomic conditions that make people capable of practicing democracy and (b) empowering sociocultural conditions that make them willing to do so. People empowerment appears to be a unity of empowering societal conditions and empowering regime characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComparative Politics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)271-289
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • Politics - democracy, rule of law, Personal empowerment, Autocracy, Economic indices, Freedom, Socioeconomics, Social democracy, World Bank, Economic development
  • Gender and Diversity