Case for Democracy

A campaign in defense of Democracy to translate and distribute knowledge and ideas from the academic sphere to policymakers and practitioners. Its goal is to actively outline and promote the socio-economic and security benefits inherent in a more democratic world.

About

The world is currently experiencing a wave of autocratization characterized by increasing executive power, erosion of democratic norms, and a general tendency toward less freedom. One-third of the world’s population – 2.6 billion people – now lives in countries undergoing autocratization. Even so, for the President and members of Congress to incite a mob to storm the US capitol on 6 January 2021 is unparalleled. Confronted with a world-wide surge in ‘autocratization’ and repeated attacks on democracy, world leaders have rejuvenated the idea of a global coalition of democracies. For instance, new US President Joe Biden announced his intention to convene an international Democracy Summit. Boris Johnson has proposed a D(emocracy)10 bringing together the G7 states with Australia, India and South Korea. German foreign minister Heiko Maas recently suggested a Marshall Plan for Democracy, and Sweden launched the ‘Drive for Democracy’ as a new foreign policy priority.

In light of these challenges to democracies world wide, the V-Dem Institute initiated the "Case for Democracy" program - a campaign to translate and distribute knowledge and ideas from the academic sphere to policymakers and practitioners. Its goal is to actively outline and promote the socio-economic and security benefits inherent in a more democratic world. Providing evidence-based information is of utmost importance in the present era of “fake news” which is often generated by and in support of autocratization.

The Case for Democracy Week 2021

The ‘Case for Democracy’ Week features five 1.5-hour webinars (one webinar each day) from March 22 – 25, 2021 bringing together academics and policymakers in a dialogue based on state-of-the art scientific findings on the dividends of democracy for a series of development outcomes: 1) economic development, 2) human development and infrastructures, 3) human development and health, 4) security, and (5) combating climate change.

This project is partly financed by the European Union.

Rohini Pande (Yale University), James Robinson (University of Chicago), Scott Gates (PRIO & University of Oslo), Amanda Murdie (University of Georgia), Thomas Bernauer (ETH & ISTP), and Thomas J. Bollyky (Council of Foreign Relations & Georgetown University) are among the list of speakers. You can find the full list of speakers and the final program here and can watch each session on V-Dem YouTube channel using the links below:

  • Webinar 1: Economic Development (SDG 1, 8, and 10)
  • Webinar 2A: Human Development - Enabling Hard and Social Infrastructures (SDG 3, 5, and 16)
  • Webinar 2B: Human Development – Health (SDG 3)
  • Webinar 3: Human, Domestic, and International Security (SDG 5 and 16)
  • Webinar 4: Combating Climate Change (SDG 13)

Five Case for Democracy Week Policy Briefs are now out – distilling the hard scientific evidence for dividends that democracy brings. You can read and download them using the links below:

  • Does Democracy Cause Economic Growth, Stability, and Work for the Poor?
  • Are Democracies Better for Social Protection of the Poor, Gender Equality, and Social Cohesion?
  • Does Democracy Increase Global Health?
  • Does Democracy Bring International and Domestic Peace and Security?
  • Do Democracies Perform Better Combatting Climate Change?