Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on gu.se


V-Dem provides a new and more profound way of measuring and analyzing democracy. The uniqueness of the instrument is a combination of four different properties:

1) V-Dem we approaches democracy as a multi-dimensional concept with many different components.

2) In the new measuring instrument, assessments are made based on these seven main types of democracy. Within each of the main types researchers have defined a number of components, which in turn are graded based on 450+ different indicators.

3) V-Dem measure all dimensions of democracy from 1789 to the present for the entire world's sovereign and semi sovereign political units. In total, data is collected from 201 countries.

4) Unlike other actors, the V-Dem is completely transparent in its research methods and data at all levels, including aggregating methods.

Five main types
V-Dem includes five main types of democracy principles: electoral democracy, liberal democracy, participatory democracy, deliberative democracy, and egalitarian. All seven types of democracy are broken down into different components and sub- components. At the most disaggregated level, V-Dem includes 450+ precise and unique indicators.

To summarize, the V-Dem conceptual scheme has several levels of specificity:

Principles (5)

Components (~50)


Indicators (~450)

Indicators - are divided into three categories
A) Observable facts contained in existing data sets or other sources. Type (A) data is gathered from extant sources (other datasets or secondary sources) and requires no original coding. These indicators are collected by V- Dem research assistance at a central level. This sort of coding comprises roughly one-third of the total.

B) The observed facts that are not usually found in existing sources and indices. Type (B) data is gathered from country-specific sources and does not require coding decisions, being factual in nature. They are coded by V- Dem country coordinators. These are usually citizens of the country they are coding and are typically researchers / graduate students who know the country very well. 

C) Lastly, type (C) data requires some degree of judgment about the state of affairs obtaining in a particular country at a particular point in time. This genre of indicator is coded by Country Experts – generally academics or policymakers who are nationals of and/or residents in a country, with deep knowledge of that country and of a specific substantive area. The Country Experts (usually 15-20 per country) are mainly nationals of the country they are coding. This sort of coding comprises about half of the total.

V-Dem seeks a minimum of five Country Experts to code each country-year for every indicator. The C-indicators are organized into twelve sections and four clusters, as follows:

1. Elections
Political parties/electoral systems

2. Executive

3. Judiciary
Civil liberty

4. Civil society organizations
Political equality

Note that if five Country Experts coded all four indicators for each country, V-Dem would use about 3,000 coders, in total, to collect the data on C-indicators across the world. However, most experts possess the requisite expertise to code only one or two of the clusters. This means that, in practice, each country is typically coded by 15 to 25 Country Experts. 


More information about data

Please visit the official webpage www.v-dem.net if you want to learn more about V-Dem data and data collection.


Page Manager: Webbredaktionen|Last update: 9/10/2018

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?