V-Dem: A new way to measure democracy

Staffan Lindberg, Michael Coppedge, John Gerring, Jan Teorell, David Altman, Michael Bernhard, Adam Glynn, Dan Pemstein, Steven Fish, Kelly McMann, Jeff Staton, Pamela Paxton, Megan Reif, Eitan Tzelgov, Yi-ting Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

146 Citations (Scopus)


In the last few decades, Western governments have spent huge sums of money to promote democracy abroad. We do not know which, if any, of these programs actually work. If we cannot measure democracy in sufficient detail and with the necessary nuance, we cannot mark its progress and setbacks or affect its future course. While distinguishing the most democratic countries from the least democratic ones is fairly easy, it has proven to be much harder to make finer distinctions. Here we present a new effort aimed at measuring democracy, the Varieties of Democracy Project (V-Dem).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-169
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Democracy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this