Bollen, Kenneth A. (2009). Liberal Democracy Series I, 1972-1988: Definition, Measurement, and Trajectories. Electoral Studies, 28(3)
The purpose of this paper is to provide the definitional and empirical background to the Liberal Democracy Series I Index of democracy that is available in Bollen (1998) but whose rationale has not been published. More specifically, the paper (1) gives a definition of liberal democracy that has guided the formation of this index, (2) describes measures that correspond to this definition, (3) provides a measurement model that links the indicators of democracy to the latent variables that represent the concept, (4) explains the construction of the Liberal Democracy Series I Index, and (5) compares the Series I democracy measure to two other widely used democracy measures in a latent curve model. The Liberal Democracy Series I Index provides a simple unweighted measure of liberal democracy that minimizes the bias in expert ratings, is highly reliable and highly correlated with the latent liberal democracy variable. The evidenced reviewed here suggests that its measurement properties are superior to the Polity and Vanhanen democracy indices with the exception that it is available for a more limited period of years than these latter two.
Bollen, Kenneth A.