Varieties of Democracy: What Do We Know after 227 Years?
October 17 - 19, 2017
The organizers are among the leaders of the Varieties of Democracy project, which has published new indicators of more than 350 attributes of democracy for most countries in the world from 1900 to the present. These new data create an opportunity to re-examine all quantitative research about the nature and causes of democracy. The PIs plan to write a book that, first, surveys historical trends in democratization in order to highlight how our data modifies our understanding of this process in different regions of the world. Second, the book will re-test dozens of hypotheses about the causes of democracy, including economic, social, cultural, and international determinants. The ultimate goal is to synthesize a new theoretical understanding of democratization.
This team already has a first volume under contract to Cambridge University Press that will serve as a handbook or user's guide to the data. The proposed workshop is to plan a second volume that analyzes the data to reveal how it modifies our understanding of the nature and consequences of democracy.