Democratic Backsliding and Autocratic Consolidation
Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (CST)
- Chair: Scott Gehlbach, University of Chicago
An Events-Based Approach to Understanding Democratic Erosion
AbstractIn this paper we introduce and demonstrate the utility of a new event dataset on democratic erosion around the world. Through case studies of Turkey and Brazil, we show that our Democratic Erosion Event Dataset (DEED) can help resolve debates about the extent to which democracy is backsliding based on prominent cross-national indicators, focusing in particular on the V-Dem and Little and Meng (L&M) indices. V-Dem suggests that democracies are deteriorating worldwide; L&M argue that this is an artifact of subjectivity and coder bias, and that more "objective" indicators reveal little to no global democratic backsliding in recent years. Using DEED, we show that objective indices may underestimate the extent of democratic erosion while subjective indices may overestimate it. Our analyses illustrate the ways that DEED can complement existing indices by illuminating the nature and dynamics of democratic erosion as it actually occurs on the ground.
AbstractWe propose a simple model of the evolution of institutions, where leaders’ actions have a persistent effect by shaping the norms of the institutions they lead. This can lead to different long-run behavior even for institutions with the same formal rules. The early history of leaders plays a crucial role in determining which outcome prevails. Every period, leaders decide to respect or abuse their position. Respect strengthens the norms while abuse weakens them. Leaders’ type and current norms determine the benefit/cost of abusing the position. Norms also determine the replacement probability of leaders. We elucidate democratic backsliding and corporate-board capturing.
- L0 - General
- P0 - General