The Gap between Electoral and Liberal Democracy Revisited. Some Conceptual and Empirical Clarifications
Title: The Gap between Electoral and Liberal Democracy Revisited. Some Conceptual and Empirical Clarifications
Author: MOLLER, Jorgen
Citation: Acta Politica, 2007, 42, 4, 380-400
Since the late 1990s, many students of democratization have emphasized that a salient empirical gap is emerging between electoral and liberal democracy. In this article, I reappraise the gap by revisiting Larry Diamond's important contribution from Developing Democracy. Emphasizing both the electoral and the liberal component of democracy, with assistance from classical and modern authors, the article arrives at a clear conclusion. The gap between electoral and liberal democracy only increased very modestly in the 1990s and it has decreased sharply in the 2000s. These results differ from the conventional wisdom for a very simple reason: because I systematically treat the two components of liberal democracy as different attributes, conceptually independent of each other, I do identify a gap that is based on a difference in degree, not in kind.
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