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Arts, Cultural Participation, and Democracy: Analyzing the Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy

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Civil Society: Concepts, Challenges, Contexts

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Abstract

The chapter introduces the idea behind and the actual concept of the Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy (IFCD), which was designed to assemble indicators on culture and democracy. The IFCD is meant to provide a stronger evidence base for policy-making and to enable and encourage further research on possible relationships between the two within and across countries. To illustrate some of its potential uses, a cluster analysis identifies three country groups along the four dimensions covered by the IFCD (civic, policy, economic, and freedom/equality). The chapter also discusses the IFCD’s strengths and weaknesses as well as a way forward.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Information on the IFCD can be found on these websites: https://culturalindicators.org/; https://www.coe.int/en/web/culture-and-heritage/indicators-culture-and-democracy.

  2. 2.

    For those interested in statistical issues: The underlying data are transformed using a z-standardization, meaning that each variable has a mean of zero and a variance of 1. This is a standard approach to allow easier combination of variables into indicators and components. However, the disadvantage is that different years of the IFCD are not comparable, as due to additional or missing countries, the original means and variances may have changed.

  3. 3.

    In principle, one can also compare different dimensions or components within Democracy, but there are more potent databases for this purpose available, some of which are mentioned in the chapter.

  4. 4.

    A more expansive analysis of cultural homogeneity and heterogeneity within the EU, based on a broader concept of culture, can be found, for example, in Gerhards (2007) and Gerhards and Hoelscher (2003).

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17.4 Appendix: Cluster Assignment of Countries

17.4 Appendix: Cluster Assignment of Countries

Depending on the chosen kind of cluster algorithm and the underlying data (dimensions or indicators), countries can shift their cluster assignment. Different analyses showed a three-cluster solution as the most appropriate. Table 17.2 shows the assignments for this solution for three different approaches:

  • Column 2: Hierarchical clustering (Ward method) on the basis of the four dimensions

  • Column 3: K-Means clustering with shifting cluster centers on the basis of the four dimensions

  • Column 4: K-Means clustering with shifting cluster centers on the basis of the 17 indicators

As can be observed, the different methods as well as the different levels of aggregation of the data come to quite similar results, supporting the reliability of the results. The (very few) shifts are marked as bold.

Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Turkey have missing data for one of the dimensions (as some indicators are missing), so they cannot be included in the hierarchical clustering, and results in the other solutions should be interpreted carefully.

Table 17.2 Cluster assignment of countries

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Hoelscher, M., List, R.A. (2022). Arts, Cultural Participation, and Democracy: Analyzing the Indicator Framework on Culture and Democracy. In: Hoelscher, M., List, R.A., Ruser, A., Toepler, S. (eds) Civil Society: Concepts, Challenges, Contexts. Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-98008-5_17

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-98008-5_17

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