Munck_Verkuilen2002 - Comparative...

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Unformatted text preview: Comparative Political Studies DOI: 10.1177/001041400203500101 2002; 35; 5 Comparative Political Studies Gerardo L. Munck and Jay Verkuilen Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: Evaluating Alternative Indices The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: can be found at: Comparative Political Studies Additional services and information for Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: SAGE Journals Online and HighWire Press platforms): (this article cites 14 articles hosted on the Citations © 2002 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Not for commercial use or unauthorized distribution. at Universiteatsbibliothek Greifswald on May 20, 2008 Downloaded from COMPARATIVE POLITICAL STUDIES / February 20 2 Munck, Verkuilen / CONCEPTUALIZING DEMOCRACY A comprehensive and integrated framework for the analysis of data is offered and used to assess data sets on democracy. The framework first distinguishes among three challenges that are sequentially addressed: conceptualization, measurement, and aggregation. In turn, it specifies distinct tasks associated with these challenges and the standards of assessment that pertain to each task. This framework is applied to the data sets on democracy most frequently used in cur- rent statistical research, generating a systematic evaluation of these data sets. The authors’con- clusion is that constructors of democracy indices tend to be quite self-conscious about method- ological issues but that even the best indices suffer from important weaknesses. More constructively, the article’s assessment of existing data sets on democracy identifies distinct areas in which attempts to improve the quality of data on democracy might fruitfully be focused. CONCEPTUALIZING AND MEASURING DEMOCRACY Evaluating Alternative Indices GERARDO L. MUNCK JAY VERKUILEN University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign T he study of democracy —a core concern within comparative politics and international relations—increasingly has drawn on sophisticated statistical methods of causal inference. This is a welcome development, and the contributions of this quantitative literature are significant. However, with a few notable exceptions, 1 quantitative researchers have paid sparse attention to the quality of the data on democracy that they analyze. Indeed, the assess- ments that have been carried out are usually restricted to fairly informal dis- cussions of alternative data sets and somewhat superficial examinations of 5 AUTHORS’ NOTE: We would like to thank Chris Achen, James Caporaso, David Collier, Michael Coppedge, James Kuklinski, Mark Lichbach, James Mahoney, Scott Mainwaring, Sebastián Mazzuca, Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Robert Pahre, Cindy Skach, Richard Snyder, and three...
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This note was uploaded on 02/02/2012 for the course INT INT1000 taught by Professor Robertdalpe during the Fall '11 term at Université de Montréal.

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Munck_Verkuilen2002 - Comparative...

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