Peru and South Korea. This unique comparative study first presents the findings of in-country teams of experts in the eight countries on the state of democracy in their own country; and concludes with an analysis and synthesis of their findings to suggest an overall general trajectory of the democratisation process. In doing so, the conclusions examine a variety of issues of significance to democracy, including for example the creation of electoral space, the formation of political parties, the political inclusion of minorities, mechanisms of accountability, and the reduction of corruption.
The strength of The State of Democracy lies in the common use by the eight teams of the
same democracy assessment framework developed under the auspices of the
International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), Stockholm. This innovative assessment framework covers every aspect of democracy: citizen rights and the rule of law, representative and accountable government, civil society and popular participation, and the international dimensions of democracy. The
expert teams used the same methodology to answer the same questions: how democratic
are we? In what respects have we made progress? What are the major defects of our
governing arrangements from a democratic point of view? How do we stand in comparison with our past and with other comparator countries?
Thus their findings are both comprehensive and directly comparable. The State of Democracy contains summaries of each democracy assessment; presents detailed comparative data on key democratic indicators for the eight countries; and then concludes with an overall analysis. The eight studies were pilot schemes, funded and organised by International IDEA, to validate and test the democracy assessment
framework, set out in the companion volume, The International IDEA Handbook on
Democracy Assessment, also published by Brill. Some studies are also
being published separately in their country of origin as promotional tools for democratic
reform. International IDEA is continuing to cumulate these comparative studies and
analysis of democratic trends around the world, see www.idea.int.