Causes of Quality and Democracy Profiles: Empirical Findings of the Democracy Matrix

DFG Follow-Up Project

Project period: April 2018 - April 2021

1. Key Questions of the Follow-Up Project

What are the different quality and democracy profiles that can be conceptually distinguished and are they also to be found empirically?

What factors and combinations of factor are responsible for the fact that certain forms of deficient democracies (e.g. illiberal or delegative democracies) arise?

How is it the case that established democracies have different democracy profiles (e.g. the USA and Great Britain follow a libertarian democracy profile, whereas the Scandinavian countries emphasize egalitarian components of democracy)?

2. Goals of the Follow-Up Project

  1. Conceptual and empirical typology of quality and democracy profiles: In a first step in the project, an empirical typology of quality profiles and democracy profiles will be undertaken on the basis, on the one hand, of the democracy matrix’s measurement of democracy, differentiated into dimensions and institutions, and on the basis, on the other hand, of the combination of democracy quality and trade-off indicators.
  2. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of the causes of quality and democracy profiles (mixed methods research design): Following the classification of different quality and democracy profiles, in a second step, the causes for the emergence of these profiles will be determined. To the end, within the framework of a mixed methods design, quantitative analyses will be carried out in the data analysis and supplementary qualitative analyses will be carried out in case studies. This represents the main objective of the follow-up project.
  3. Dissemination of the Project Results and Public Outreach: In addition to the presentation of the research results on this homepage, an English-language book project will provide detailed insight into the course and results of the original project and, above all, of the follow-up project. Different types of events are planned.

3. Stages of the Follow-Up Project

In a first step in the work process, the conceptual framework of the different quality and democracy profiles will be elaborated for the purpose of creating a comprehensive typology. We will then test the extent to which the conceptual reflections on the quality and democracy profiles can be empirically verified by way of a cluster analytic procedure using the democracy matrix data set. Next comes theory and hypothesis formation concerning the causes of the quality profiles, on the one hand, and concerning the causes of the democracy profiles, on the other. This is the point of departure for the subsequent quantitative analysis (regression analysis), which makes possible an initial testing of the hypotheses both on the quality profiles and on the democracy profiles. The results of this step in the work process then orient the case selection for the qualitative analyses (deviant case design) in the form of a mixed methods design: deviant cases, which contradict the hypotheses and theories, are then subjected to a qualitative re-analysis by way of process tracing. In addition, a comparative study will also be done of representative cases. The last key work-process step in this phase consists of an overall comparison of the results of the quantitative and the qualitative methods and thus aims at the meta-inferences that are of importance for mixed methods.