Staffan I. Lindberg

Staffan I. Lindberg
University of Gothenburg | GU · Department of Political Science

PhD

About

177
Publications
118,664
Reads
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6,139
Citations
Citations since 2016
99 Research Items
4801 Citations
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Additional affiliations
May 2015 - present
V-Dem Institute
Position
  • Managing Director
March 2010 - present
University of Gothenburg
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 2006 - December 2013
University of Florida
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (177)
Article
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This paper introduces a new approach to the quantitative study of democratization. Building on the comparative case-study and large-N literature, it outlines an episode approach that identifies the discrete beginning of a period of political liberalization, traces its progression, and classifies episodes as successful versus different types of fail...
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This article analyses the state of democracy around the world in 2021. The level of democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen in 2021 was down to 1989 levels. In 2021, autocracies were on the rise, harbouring 70% of the world population, or 5.4 billion people. There was also a record number of countries autocratizing in 2021: 33 countries, ho...
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We are pleased to present the Democracy Report 2022 from the V-Dem Institute. Our report comes during challenging times as the world is facing a war in Europe, rising tensions in the East Asia-Pacific region, a return of military and other coups, and new heights of polarization across many societies. It is our hope that the Democracy Report 2022 wi...
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Political scientists routinely face the challenge of assessing the quality (validity and reliability) of measures in order to use them in substantive research. While stand-alone assessment tools exist, researchers rarely combine them comprehensively. Further, while a large literature informs data producers , data consumers lack guidance on how to a...
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Aim Geo-referenced species occurrence records are a prime example of biodiversity data and a cornerstone of biodiversity research. Yet, their availability depends on non-biological factors, including the political framework in the region of collection. Here we present Bio-Dem (www.bio-dem.surge.sh), an open-source software to explore the relationsh...
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When authoritarian regimes liberalize, are there observable patterns in the ordering of reforms, and are these patterns distinct for cases that transition to democracy? While the prevailing literature tends to focus on exogenous ‘determinants’ of democracy, this letter describes the endogenous dynamics of liberalization itself. Using pairwise domin...
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This article analyses the state of democracy in 2020. The world is still more democratic than it was in the 1970s and 1980s, but a trend of autocratization is ongoing and affecting 25 countries in 2020, home to 34% of the world’s population. At the same time, the number of democratizing countries has dwindled by nearly half, reducing to 16 countrie...
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This is a response to Luca Tomini's “Don't think of a wave!” and Svend-Erik Skaaning's “Waves of autocratization and democratization”. With this rejoinder we make three arguments: First, the question how global waves shape autocratization processes and regime transformations is now more urgent than ever. Since 1994, civil liberties and political ri...
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This article introduces a novel conceptualization of democratic resilience - a two-stage process where democracies avoid democratic declines altogether or avert democratic breakdown given that such autocratization is ongoing. Drawing on the Episodes of Regime Transformation (ERT) dataset, we find that democracies have had a high level of resilience...
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Do the processes states use to select judges for peak courts influence gender diversity? Scholars have debated whether concentrating appointment power in a single individual or diffusing appointment power across many individuals best promotes gender diversification. Others have claimed that the precise structure of the process matters less than fun...
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Studies of a small number of countries have revealed that both democratic and non-democratic subnational governments can exist within a single country. However, these works have neither demonstrated how common subnational regime variation is nor explained why some countries are more prone to it. This article does both. We show that subnational regi...
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Are some countries better equipped from the onset of a democratization process to become democracies? We compared successful and failed episodes of liberalization over the period 1900 to 2018 to examine if starting state influences the probability of successful democratization. We show that liberalization in autocracies was more likely to succeed i...
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Questions such as how democratic a country is, how free are its media, or how independent is its judiciary are highly important to researchers and decision makers. We describe a research infrastructure that produces the world's largest dataset on democracy, governance, human rights, and related topics. The dataset is far more resolved and accurate...
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This article analyses the state of democracy in the world in 2019. We demonstrate that the “third wave of autocratization” is accelerating and deepening. The dramatic loss of eight democracies in the last year sets a new record in the rate of breakdowns. Exemplifying this crisis is Hungary, now the EU’s first ever authoritarian member state. Govern...
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The third wave of democratization has given way to a reverse wave of autocratization. A critical question is what can be done to prevent democratic breakdowns and make democracy endure. A large body of historical-narrative and small-N comparative scholarship has suggested that an active mobilized civil society and institutionalized political partie...
Book
Cambridge Core - American Studies - Varieties of Democracy - by Michael Coppedge
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Sometimes the normal course of events is disrupted by a particularly swift and profound change. Historians have often referred to such changes as “revolutions”, and, though they have identified many of them, they have rarely supported their claims with statistical evidence. Here, we present a method to identify revolutions based on a measure of mul...
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Democracy is under threat globally from democratically elected leaders engaging in erosion of media freedom, civil society, and the rule of law. What distinguishes democracies that prevail against the forces of autocratization? This article breaks new ground by conceptualizing democratic resilience as a two-stage process, whereby democracies first...
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Authoritarian incumbents routinely use democratic emulation as a strategy to extend their tenure in power. Yet, there is also evidence that multiparty competition makes electoral authoritarianism more vulnerable to failure. Proceeding from the assumption that the outcomes of authoritarian electoral openings are inherently uncertain, it is argued in...
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Theory predicts democracy should reduce corruption. Yet, scholars have found that while corruption is low at high levels of democracy, it is high at modest levels, as well as low when democracy is absent. A weakness of studies that aim to explain this inverted curvilinear relationship is that they do not disaggregate the complex concepts of democra...
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This article describes and discusses the new generation of methodological responses to measuring democracy and related issues generated by Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem). V-Dem is distinct in several regards in addition to its unique level of disaggregation, by the combination of: historical data extending back to 1900 and for a large selection amo...
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Increasing human pressure threatens plant and animal species with extinction worldwide. National political institutions constitute an important arena for biodiversity conservation. Yet, the relationship between how democratic these national institutions are and a country’s efforts towards and track-record for biodiversity conservation remains poorl...
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This article analyses the state of democracy in the world in 2018, and recent developments building on the 2019 release of the V-Dem dataset. First, the trend of autocratization continues and 24 countries are now affected by what is established as a “third wave of autocratization”. Second, despite the global challenge of gradual autocratization, de...
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Accountability is one of the cornerstones of good governance. Establishing accountable governments is a top priority on the international development agenda. Yet, scholars and democracy practitioners know little about how accountability mechanisms develop and thus can be supported by international and national actors. The present study tackles the...
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This paper presents a new measure polyarchy for a global sample of 182 countries from 1900 to 2017 based on the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) data, deriving from an expert survey of more than 3000 country experts from around the world, with on average 5 experts rating each indicator. By measuring the five components of Elected Officials, Clean Ele...
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We attempt to integrate the literatures on authoritarian regime types and democratic forms of government. We propose a theoretical framework of five dimensions of executive appointment and dismissal that can be applied in both more democratic and more authoritarian regimes: the hereditary, military, ruling party, direct election, and confidence dim...
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Less than 30 years after Fukuyama and others declared liberal democracy’s eternal dominance, a third wave of autocratization is manifest. Gradual declines of democratic regime attributes characterize contemporary autocratization. Yet, we lack the appropriate conceptual and empirical tools to diagnose and compare such elusive processes. Addressing t...
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Objectives This article presents a new method inspired by evolutionary biology for analyzing longer sequences of requisites for the emergence of particular outcome variables across numerous combinations of ordinal variables in social science analysis. Methods The approach is a sorting algorithm through repeated pairwise investigations of states in...
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Elections in Hard Times: Building Stronger Democracies in the 21st Century. By Thomas Edward Flores and Ifran Nooruddin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 294p. $93.99 cloth, $29.99 paper. - Volume 16 Issue 3 - Staffan I. Lindberg
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This article presents evidence of a global trend of autocratization. The most visible feature of democracy – elections – remains strong and is even improving in some places. Autocratization mainly affects non-electoral aspects of democracy such as media freedom, freedom of expression, and the rule of law, yet these in turn threaten to undermine the...
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Scholars continue to debate whether economic development affects regime type. This article argues that a clear relationship exists between development and the electoral component of democracy, but not – or at least less so – between development and other components of broader understandings of democracy. This is so because development enhances the...
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Although equality figures prominently in many foundational theories of democracy, liberal and electoral conceptions of democracy have dominated empirical political science research on topics like political regimes, democratization and democratic survival. This paper develops the concept of egalitarian democracy as a regime that provides de facto pr...
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Classifying political regimes has never been more difficult. Most contemporary regimes hold de-jure multiparty elections with universal suffrage. In some countries, elections ensure that political rulers are—at least somewhat—accountable to the electorate whereas in others they are a mere window dressing exercise for authoritarian politics. Hence,...
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While a large literature suggests an important role for political parties in development, this article is the first attempt to layout and test a comprehensive theory connecting parties to economic growth. The authors argue that strong parties broaden the constituencies to which policymakers respond and help politicians solve coordination problems....
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This paper presents a new approach for studying temporal sequences across ordinal variables. It involves three complementary approaches (frequency tables, transitional graphs, and dependency tables), as well as an established adaptation based on Bayesian dynamical systems, inferring a general system of change. The frequency tables count pairs of va...
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Why are some states more corrupt than others? Drawing on the literature on governance in parliamentary democracies, we suggest that the degree of corruption depends on the ability of key political actors to control ministers who have been delegated power. We argue that the Prime Minister has incentives to limit corruption within the cabinet and has...