Polyarchy Conestation Scale

Report
Polyarchy Contestation Scale
Adrian Wyszyński
Comparative Politics 12/13
Polyarchy Contestation Scale
Michael Coppedge and Wolfgang H. Reinicke have developed a scale
based on Robert Dahl's concept of polyarchy. The scale measures the
degree to which national political systems meet the minimum requirements
for political democracy, where real-world "democracies" rather than abstract
ideals are the standard. The Polyarchy and Contestation Scales measure the
level of the contestation dimension of polyarchy in independent states. The
Polyarchy Scale is constructed from indicators of freedom of expression,
freedom of organization, media pluralism, and the holding of fair elections.
The scale is:
1) well grounded in democratic theory,
2) world-wide in scope,
3) demonstrably valid,
4) solves problems of weighting indicators
5) easy to interpret and replicate.
• Polyarchy
• The term "polyarchy" was originally coined in Dahl and
Lindblom (1953), but was developed most fully in Dahl
(1971). Polyarchy is defined as the set of institutional
arrangements that permits public opposition and
establishes the right to participate in politics. In these
two respects - public contestation and inclusiveness polyarchy is similar to the concept of democracy, so it
is important to clarify at the outset the various ways in
which polyarchy differs from some other conceptions
of democracy.
• The data for 1985 are coded by Michael Coppedge and
Wolfgang Reinicke, while the data for 2000 were coded
by graduate and undergraduate students at the
University of Notre Dame.
Codebook
Suff – Suffrage
Fairelt – Fair Elections
Freorg – Freedom of Organization
Frext – Freedom of Expression
Altinf – Alternative Sources of Information
Poly – The sum of Fairelt, Freorg, Frexp and Altinf minus 4
Poly score (from 0 to 10) where:
Score = 0
Perfect Scale Type (1 1 1 1):
Meaningful fair elections are held, there is full freedom for political organization and
expression, and there is no preferential presentation of official views in the media.
Score = 10
Perfect Scale Type (3 4 3 4):
No meaningful elections are held, all organizations are banned or controlled by the
government or official party, all public dissent is suppressed, and there is no public
alternative to official information.
Country
suff fairelt freorg frexp altinf fairelt freorg frexp altinf
code 85
85
85
85
85
00
00
00
00 poly85 poly00 cont85
cont
00
Azerbaijan aze
.
.
.
.
.
2
2
2
3
.
5
.
4
Bulgaria
bul
1
3
4
3
4
1
2
2
2
10
3
1
6
Germany ger
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
9
9
Greece
grc
1
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
2
0
7
9
Hungary
hun
1
3
4
2
3
1
1
1
1
8
0
2
9
Italy
ita
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
9
9

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