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Democracy without democratic values: A rejoinder to Welzel and Inglehart


In reply to Welzel and Inglehart in this issue, we deploy three lines of criticism. First, we argue that their newly invented construct “effective democracy” is conceptually and empirically flawed. Second, we show that their results are highly sensitive to model specification. Regardless of the time period, their supportive evidence vanishes if a more pertinent measure of democracy is used instead of measures based on the absence of corruption, if a broader index of socioeconomic modernization is controlled for, and if their compound index of emancipative values is replaced by its core component; liberty aspirations. Third, we find that emancipative values are not a coherent syndrome at the individual level within countries, rendering the causal mechanism linking these values to democracy through collective action unintelligible. We conclude that democratic values are not a robust determinant of democratization.

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Additional information

Jan Teorell is associate professor of political science at Lund University. He has published on intra-party politics, social capital and political participation, and, together with Axel Hadenius, is now involved in a project on the determinants of democratization.

Axel Hadenius is professor of political science at Lund University. He is the author ofDemocracy and Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) andInstitutions and Democratic Citizenship (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

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Teorell, J., Hadenius, A. Democracy without democratic values: A rejoinder to Welzel and Inglehart. St Comp Int Dev 41, 95–111 (2006).

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  • Collective Action
  • Comparative International Development
  • Political Culture
  • World Value Survey
  • Cultural Construct