July 3, 2017 Weekly Graphs
Summer vacations are approaching for many of us here at the V-Dem Institute, so this will be the last Graph for a few weeks. Even though we might take a break, democracy doesn’t! This week’s graph will therefore highlight a few upcoming elections and the Deliberative Democracy Index in these countries. Legislative elections will be held in Gabon on July 29, in the Republic of Congo on July 31, and in Kenya on August 8. Presidential elections will be held in Rwanda on August 4.
The V-Dem Deliberative Democracy Index focuses on the processes by which decisions are reached in a polity. A deliberative process is one in which public reasoning focused on the common good motivates political decisions—as contrasted with emotional appeals, solidary attachments, parochial interests, or coercion. To measure these features of a polity we try to determine the extent to which political elites give public justifications for their positions on matters of public policy, justify their positions in terms of the public good, acknowledge and respect counterarguments; and how wide the range of consultation is at elite levels.
In all countries the level of deliberative democracy increased at the end of the 1980s. However, while Gabon and Kenya have remained rather stable, although at relatively low levels, Congo and Rwanda have different trajectories. In Rwanda, the level of deliberative democracy dropped considerably following civil war and genocide during the first half of the 1990s. In Congo levels of deliberative democracy decreased during the civil war and ongoing political instability. However, both in Congo and Rwanda we see positive trends, although they are very small and within the confidence bands we can hope they take off towards more democratic developments.
To find out more about the democratic development in these countries, use our online analysis tools at v-dem.net.