• Lecture

Assigning Country Ratings for Democracy

As globalization advances and crises proliferate, the practice of rating countries on democracy and freedom of the press has become increasingly significant in driving funding for “democratization” by the United Nations, the IMF, the United States Government, and NGOs. Yet the basic methodological and philosophical underpinnings of the process are murky. Ellen Mickiewicz will examine what ratings are based on and how reliable they are.

Among other aspects, is a bias toward capitalism regarded as an essential feature of democracy, and
the contentious political philosophical basis for the separation of political and economic rights as
vector of democracy. Ellen Mickiewicz discusses problems with this cross-cultural perspective in the
interpretation of censorship, the recognition of tradeoffs, and the meaning of trust. Trust, treated as a
necessary component of democracy, is central to research literature bearing on variation in attitudes
toward democracy at the individual level. It is also extremely difficult to interpret, and scholar and
policy makers alike should question the degree to which what the respondent means is the same as
what the survey analyst interprets. Ellen Mickiewicz will give examples where precisely this kind of gap
is nonetheless passed on by major media without any critical examination.
Ellen Mickiewicz´s analysis is relevant on the one hand to research scholars seeking to identify the
determinants of democratization or democracy and, on the other, to the policy and media world using
ratings to guide decision making.

Weitere Informationen zu Ellen Mickiewicz

Ort: IFK