Rethinking the Value of Democracy

A Comparative Perspective

  • Renske Doorenspleet

Part of the The Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy book series (PSTCD)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Renske Doorenspleet
    Pages 1-27
  3. Renske Doorenspleet
    Pages 69-113
  4. Renske Doorenspleet
    Pages 115-163
  5. Renske Doorenspleet
    Pages 165-200
  6. Renske Doorenspleet
    Pages 201-236
  7. Renske Doorenspleet
    Pages 237-256
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 257-266

About this book


This book is the first comprehensive analysis of the instrumental value of democracy in a comparative perspective. Based on extensive analyses of quantitative studies from different disciplines, it explores both the expected beneficial and harmful impact of democracy. Democracy’s reputation as delivering peace and development while controlling corruption is an important source of its own legitimacy. Yet, as this book acutely demonstrates, the arguments tend to be normatively driven interventions in ideologically charged policy debates. The book argues that we need neither a utopian framing of democracy as delivering all ‘good things’ in politics nor a cynical one that emphasizes only the ‘dangerous underbelly’ of this form of government. The author also raises critical questions about the value of the study of democracy: the choice for particular concepts and measures, the unknown mechanisms, and the narrow focus on specific instrumental values. This volume will be necessary reading for anyone interested in debates on democracy in the contemporary global context.


Democracy Comparative Politics Democractization Hybrid systems Democracy and Corruption Democracy and Peace Democracy and War Democracy and Economic Development Polity IV Project Freedom House Contesting Democracy

Authors and affiliations

  • Renske Doorenspleet
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and International StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information