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Beetham,David(2004)Towards a UniversalFrameworkfor Democracy Assessment,Democratization, 11(2),pp.117.

Abstract
Assessingthestate/qualityofacountrysdemocracy Inordertoconstructleaguetables ofdemocraticattainment,toexplore correlationsbetweendemocracyandeconomicconditionor performance,ortoidentifylikelyrecipientsandprojectsforinternational aid. Acivilsocietybasedprogramme andframework fordemocracy assessment Purposeistocontributetopublicdebate aboutacountrysdemocracy,to monitoritsprogressovertime,andtoidentifypressingareasforreform. Distinctivemethodology:thederivationofassessmentcriteria from clearlyarticulateddemocraticvalues,itsrelevancetonewand establisheddemocraciesalike,andthecomprehensiveness ofthe assessmentframework,coveringcitizenrightsandtheruleoflaw, institutionsofrepresentativeandaccountablegovernment,civilsociety andparticipation,andinternationaldimensionsofdemocracy Intellectualunderpinnings:theuniversalvalidityofdemocraticnorms;a commonimperativefordemocratization indevelopedaswellas developingcountries Comparativefindingsfrompilotassessments

Types ofDemocracy Assessment


Thecomparativeandquantitative assessmentofdemocracybysocialscientists
Primarilyfor ascientificpurpose(explanatory, causalanalysis):identifyingcausallinksbetweenD andvariousvariables Aristotle:linkbetweenconstitutionsandsocial structure Preconditions/prerequisitesofD Fatalistic/pessimisticimplications

Types ofDemocracy Assessment


LeaguetablesofHRandD
Quantification anendinitself,notameansto causalanalysis Toassignoverallscoresforacountrys performance,tochartitspositionrelativeto others,andtodosoonaregularbasis. Purposes:aguidetopotentialinvestors,a criterionforaiddistribution,achallengeto countriestoimprovetheirperformance(rarely spelledoutexplicitly)

Types ofDemocracy Assessment


Drawbackstoquantitativemethodologies
Subjectivity/arbitrarinessintranslatingqualitative judgmentsintoquantitativemeasures,andinthe relativeweightingswherebythesemeasuresare thenaggregatedintoanoverallscore Anillusoryimpressionofobjectivityandprecision towhatareessentiallyqualitativejudgments. Perfectscoresassignedtowesterncountries implausible,selfcongratulatory

Types ofDemocracy Assessment


Democracyassessmentconductedbyinternational institutionsandgovernmentaidagencies
Explicitpolicypurpose:toidentifyweaknessesinpotential recipientsofeconomicbenefits,whetherasthebasisfor imposingconditionality,ortoidentifythepointswhere positiveinterventionmightbemostusefulormost effective. Focusedonindividualcountries Sectorally differentiated Qualitative Weakness:conductedbyoutsiderspassingjudgmentona givencountryfromabroad

Types ofDemocracy Assessment


Thereareofcourseareasofpoliticallifewhere quantificationisbothappropriateandnecessary.() Whatremainsproblematic,however,istheaggregation ofqualitativejudgmentsintoasinglescorefor freedomordemocracy Evenwhereattemptshavebeenmadetoinvolvethe countrysgovernmentintheassessmentinaspiritof partnership,thispartnershiphasinevitablybeenone sided.Thereasonisthatithasinvolvedthepowerto grantorwithholdsomeeconomicbenefit;andthe assessinginstitutionhasbeenprimarilyaccountableto itsownstakeholdersthantocitizensofthecountry beingassessed.Atbest,then,therelationshiphasbeen apaternalisticone.

IDEAs Assessment Method


Qualitativeanswerstoasetofsearch questions,complementedbyquantitative datawhereappropriate. Rejectingaggregation DistinctiveMethodology

Why Distinctive?
Purpose(Why assessdemocracyinacountry? What is assessment for?)
In general:makingacontributiontoacountrysprocessof democratization and to democratize the process of democracy assessment Toraisepublicawarenessaboutwhatdemocracyinvolves,and publicdebateaboutwhatstandardsofperformancepeople shouldexpectfromtheirgovernment, To providesystematicevidencetosubstantiatecitizens concernsabouthowtheyaregoverned,andsetthesein perspectivebyidentifyingbothstrengthsandweaknesses, To contributetopublicdebateaboutongoingreform,andhelp toidentifyprioritiesforareformprogramme, To provideaninstrumentforassessinghoweffectivelyreforms areworkingoutinpractice.

Why Distinctive?
Agency (Who will assess?)
Citizensofthecountrybeingassessed,notoutsiderssittingin judgmentuponit. Acivilsocietyinitiative. Althoughtheframeworkofsearchquestionshasbeen commontoallcountries,theirinterpretationandrespective emphasishasbeenamatterforincountryassessors,ashas alsotheselectionofevidenceandtheresponsibilityforthe finaljudgmentsmade,includingtheircontextualizationand modeofrepresentation. conveningofanationalconferencecomprisingpeoplefromall walksofpubliclife,todebateandcritiquethedraftfindings.

Why Distinctive?
Agency (Who will assess?) Any democracy assessment is inescapably judgmental in character. It is therefore essential that the empirical evidence on which its judgments are based should be sound, and the normative and other assumptions involved should be transparent and publicly justified. A peergroup conference can serve to enhance the authority of a finished report by exposing it to a wider range of expertise and to different points of view. It can also help to give the assessment process and findings a greater public salience.

Why Distinctive?
Democratic Principles A simple assumption about the relation between principles and institutions: whereas democratic principles cannot be realized without appropriate political institutions and practices, these latter in turn can only be judged to be democratic insofar as they embody or serve to realize these principles. () it follows that it is not enough to specify a checklist of items to be assessed, without explaining what their contribution is to democratic life, and what are the norms against which they are to be assessed. (6)

Why Distinctive?
Democratic Principles POPULAR CONTROL Popular control of public decisions and decision makers; POLITICAL EQUALITY Equality between citizes in relation to those decisions (inrepresentative democracies)Mediating Norms:
participation,authorization,representativeness, accountability,transparency,responsiveness, solidarity

Why Distinctive?
Assesment Framework a list of institutions and practices to be assessed against the given norms, in a coherent and systematic order of treatment Citizen rights (nationhood and citizenship, the rule of law and access to justice, civil and political rights, economic and social rights) Civil society anpopularparticipation (the media, political participation,government responsiveness,decentralization) Democracy beyond the state (the international dimensions ofdemocracy)

Why Distinctive?
Search Questions Implementation
(itisnever enough to specify the legalposition ineach area,without assessing howeffectively the law is implemented inpractice.)

Why Distinctive?
Range
Proposition:All countries canbeassessed according to acommon model,which isapplicable to developed and developing democracies alike. Assumptions: Atthe philosophical level ofthe discursive justification ofnormative principles,any justification for them requires usto make universalistic claims that donotstopatthe shores ofthe Westor the North. Atthe empirical level,itisamatter ofcommon observation that there are numerous people inall societies across the globe who subscribe to democratic principles,and who want them for,or are struggling to realize them in,their own societies. Democratizationboth asconcept and asprocess isasrelevant to the olddemocracies asto the new ones.