By James N. Danziger
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Additional resources for Understanding the Political World: A Comparative Introduction to Political Science
In other words, half of the “democratizing” countries in the world today are illiberal democracies’. Zakaria spells out his operationalization of democratizing states and illiberal democracy in an associated footnote. In brief, he has added up the Freedom House ratings on ‘political rights’ and ‘civil liberties’ (both 7-point scales), thus creating a one-dimensional index which ranges from a low of 2 (the highest degree of freedom) to a high of 14 (the lowest degree of freedom). Zakaria considers any country scoring between 5 and 10 to be democratizing.
Recall that the connotation (the intension) of a definition is inversely related to the denotation (the extension). To translate Diamond’s objection into this language, with such a modest (purely electoral) intension, the extension is likely to cover a very large cluster of countries that have very little in common. Hence, it makes sense to expand the connotation of the concept of democracy. Before doing so, one thing should be made clear. e. to keep his interpretation of democracy as a method, while expanding the connotation of the concept.
Second, even the limited differences between the two are not on the rise in the period of 1990–2007; the gap actually decreases. In other words, the conclusion is that there is no increasing number of countries in which free elections take place in an illiberal state, neither absolutely nor relatively. One may, however, object that the crude thresholds used to separate the classes on each of the dimensions could disguise the actual differences between the scores on the electoral and the liberal dimensions.