The Gap between Liberal and Electoral Democracy Revisited. Some Conceptual and Empirical Clarifications
Title: The Gap between Liberal and Electoral Democracy Revisited. Some Conceptual and Empirical Clarifications
Author: MOLLER, Jorgen
Series/Report no.: EUI SPS; 2006/01
Since the late 1990s, many students of democratisation have emphasised that a salient empirical gap is emerging between liberal and electoral democracy. In this paper, I reappraise the gap by revisiting Larry Diamond’s important contribution from Developing Democracy. Emphasising both the electoral and the liberal component of democracy, with assistance from classical and modern authors, the paper arrives at a fourfold typology of the political regime form. When reanalysing the 1990s using this typology - and when extending the analysis to the 2000s - the gap between liberal and electoral democracy turns out not to be in the increase at all. The reason is a simple one: because I systematically treat the two components of liberal democracy as different attributes, conceptually independent of each other, I do not identify a gap that is based on a difference in degree, not in kind.
Type of Access: openAccess