Electoral Chair’s Seminar – 22 November

Quelle démocratie? Ce que disent les experts, ce que pense la population

Claire Durand – Université de Montréal

Many international projects – Freedom House, Polity 4, V_DEM, The Economist EIU index, IDEA’s Global State of Democracy – offer various indices of the level of democracy in most countries around the world. These indices are used in academic research but also in the media to conclude, among other things, a low level of democracy or a recent decline in the state of democracy in certain countries. However, researchers who have examined the properties of these indices have generally concluded that they have significant biases – pro-Western, among others – and that they sometimes even contradict each other. This raises questions about what these indices really measure, their level of validity and reliability. This research presents analyses that examine the concordance between these expert indices and the perception of populations regarding democracy in their countries. The expert index database includes information on indices and sub-indexes from the five projects mentioned since 1995. The population perceptions database comes from 17 international projects and includes nearly 2,500,000 respondents who have been surveyed on their perception of democracy since 1995. Three questions are analyzed, namely satisfaction with democracy in the country, evaluation of the level of democracy in the country and finally, support for democracy in general. The presentation will conclude with a reflection on what the results of the analyzes mean for the measurement of democracy and on the relevance of integrating people’s perceptions into democracy measurements.

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This content has been updated on 15 November 2023 at 20 h 21 min.