Title

The protective and developmental varieties of liberal democracy: A difference in kind or degree?

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-2013

Abstract

Liberal democratic governments may differ in both their kind and degree of democracy. However, the literature too often conflates this distinction, hindering our ability to understand what kinds of governing structures are more democratic. To clarify this issue, the article examines two prominent contemporary models of democracy: developmental liberal democracy (DLD) and protective liberal democracy (PLD). While the former takes a 'thicker' approach to governance than the latter, conventional wisdom holds that these systems differ only in kind rather than degree. The article tests this assumption through an empirical comparison of electoral, legislative, and information-regulating institutions in two representative cases: Sweden and the United States. The empirical findings lead us to the conclusion that developmental liberal democracies represent not only a different kind, but also a deeper degree of democracy than protective liberal democracies. The implications for democracy promotion appear substantial.

Keywords

degree of democracy, democracy, democratization, liberal democracy, measuring democracy, social democracy, Sweden, United States

Discipline

Political Science

Research Areas

Political Science

Publication

Democratization

Volume

20

Issue

2

First Page

187

Last Page

214

ISSN

1351-0347

Identifier

10.1080/13510347.2011.634581

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2011.634581

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