Taking the Multidimensionality of Democracy Seriously: Institutional Patterns and the Quality of Democracy

Julian Bernauer, Marc Bühlmann, Adrian Vatter, Micha Germann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Democracies come in all shapes and sizes. Which configuration of political institutions produces the highest democratic quality is a notorious debate. The lineup of contenders includes ‘consensus’, ‘Westminster’, and ‘centripetal’ democracy. A trend in the evaluation of the relationship between empirical patterns of democracy and its quality is that the multidimensional nature of both concepts is increasingly taken into account. This article tests the assertion that certain centripetal configurations of proportionality in party systems and government, and unitarism in the remaining state structure, might outperform all other alternatives both in terms of inclusiveness and effectiveness. Analyzing 33 democracies, the results of interactive regression models only partially support this claim. Proportional–unitary democracies have the best track record in terms of representation, but there are little differences in participation, transparency, and government capability compared with other models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-494
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Political Science Review
Volume8
Issue number3
Early online date25 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • patterns of democracy
  • consensus democracy
  • majoritarian democracy
  • quality of democracy
  • centripetalism

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