Measuring Polyarchy

  • Michael Coppedge
  • Wolfgang H. Reinicke
On Measuring Democracy


The authors have developed a scale based on Robert Dahl’s concept of polyarchy. The scale measures the degree to which national political systems meet the minimum requirements for political democracy, where real-world “democracies” rather than abstract ideals are the, standard. The Polyarchy Scale is constructed from indicators of freedom of expression, freedom of organization, media pluralism, and the holding of fair elections. The scale is (1) well grounded in democratic theory, (2) world-wide in scope., (3) demonstrably valid, (4) solves problems of weighting indicators and (5) is easy to interpret and replicate., Some limitations in the scale's applicability are discussed and suggestions are made for improvements and future research.


Comparative International Development Political Democracy Institutional Requirement Official View Fair Election 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Coppedge
  • Wolfgang H. Reinicke

There are no affiliations available

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