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V-Dem: Varieties of Democracy

How and why has democracy developed in the world since 1900 and does it matter?

Funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and several others.

The aim of the Varieties of Democracy Research Program is to provide a systematic empirical contribution to the field of comparative democracy studies.

First, we will capture democracy's manifold meanings by adopting a set of indicators that are multidimensional and highly disaggregated.

Second, we revisit theories of democratization with attention to exogenous drivers, endogenous sequences of transition, and predictive models.

Third, we analyze democracy as a causal factor by looking at a wide range of outcome measures. With our unique V-Dem database, we will investigate whether specific aspects of democracy enhance, among other things, prospects for economic growth, stability, human development, gender equality, and peace.

Learn more at the project’s external website:

Researchers on the project

  • Jan Teorell
  • Michael Coppedge, University of Notre Dame
  • John Gerring, Boston University
  • Staffan Lindberg, University of Gothenburg
    – and several others.


  • Coppedge, Michael & John Gerring, with David Altman, Michael Bernard, Steven Fish, Allen Hicken, Matthew Kroenig, Staffan I. Lindberg, Kelly McMann, Pamela Paxton, Holli A. Semetko, Svend-Erik Skaaning, Jeffey Staton & Jan Teorell, "Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: A New Approach", Perspectives on Politics 9(2): 247-267, 2011.
  • Lindberg, Staffan, Michael Coppedge, John Gerring, Jan Teorell et al. "V-Dem: A New Way to Measure Democracy", Journal of Democracy 25(3): 159-169, 2014.