Social Indicators Research

, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp 1069–1087

Respect for Civil Liberties During the Third Wave of Democratization: Presenting a New Dataset



The literature on state repression has increased voluminously in recent decades. However, First Amendment-type civil liberties have not received much attention compared to neighbouring freedoms such as electoral rights and physical integrity rights. This neglect is arguably related to the lack of high-quality disaggregated measures. In this paper, we present a new dataset on respect for civil liberties—the Civil Liberties Dataset (CLD)—which includes indicators on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of religion, and freedom of movement for 207 countries in the period 1976–2010. An assessment of the levels, development, sequencing, and correlates of civil liberties not only reveals a number of interesting patterns, it also shows that the CLD has a competitive edge vis-à-vis extant measures. We conclude that the CLD opens new avenues for research on state repression in general and civil liberties in particular.


Civil liberties Dataset Measurement validity Developments Sequencing Correlates 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceAarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark

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