IPSA Research Committee 34 Quality of Democracy

The IPSA Research Committee on Quality of Democracy (RC 34) was launched in 2011. This research committee wants to cast new light on the analysis of the quality of democracy and wants to provide scholars with a “space” in which they can meet and share methodological and empirical works aiming to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms that drive and undermine democratic processes.

The spread of democracies across almost all regions of the world since the 1970s led to a renewed interest in classic topics of comparative politics such as elections, parties, civil society, institutions and institutional design, decision making, policies and their implementation. RC 34 on the one hand revisits key traditional problems of democratic regimes, such as: How can rulers be held accountable? To what extent can equality and freedom be reconciled? On the other hand, we focus on new questions and perspectives: What are essential aspects of improving democratic quality? What are the reasons for a declining quality of democracy, and where does democratic backsliding lead? Methodologically, RC34 includes theoretical-conceptual, qualitative and quantitative approaches to analyze and compare all political regime types.

Actions taken by RC 34 cover networking, the organization of international workshops, the organization of panels and roundtables in cooperation with national political science associations as well as during IPSA congresses, promotion and organization of publications on the basis of events and joint research, and the dissemination of our members’ work. During our activities, special attention will be given to the representation of young researchers and female scholars, as well as scholars from non-Western and Global South countries.