The 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.

Case for Democracy Conference:
Conference Report

Suggested citation: Nazifa Alizada, Martin Lundstedt, Kelly Morrison, Yuko Sato, Vanessa A. Boese and Staffan I. Lindberg. 2022. Case for Democracy: Conference Report. University of Gothenburg: V-Dem Institute.


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.

In light of these challenges to democracies worldwide, the V-Dem Institute, with financial support from the European Union, initiated the “Case for Democracy” program. Its goals are to:

  • Collate the latest, most rigorous scientific evidence on the dividends of democracy in key areas of development;
  • Bring together leading scholars with policymakers and practitioners to share and discuss the evidence to facilitate a coherent narrative on why democracy support and protection is important;
  • Distribute the evidence on the dividends of democracy widely among democracy support and protection stakeholders around the world.

Case for Democracy Policy Briefs

The evidence of the dividends of democracy on several key areas is collated in eight Policy Briefing Papers. Read and Download:

Case for Democracy Events

The “Case for Democracy” program has so far featured two main events: The Case for Democracy hybrid Brussels Conference 2021, and the Case for Democracy Webinar Week 2021.

The Case for Democracy Conference, Brussels

From November 30th to December 1st, 2021, 26 scholars and over 400 policymakers and practitioners participated in a hybrid onsite/virtual conference held in Brussels on the Case for Democracy. Scholars presented scientific evidence on the dividends of democracy across six broad areas:

Day 1:

  • Economic Development and Reducing Poverty
  • Education and Empowering Women

Day 2:

  • Peace and Human Security
  • Sustainable Environment and Climate Change Mitigation
  • SHuman Development and Global Health
  • Public Goods and Corruption

The final conference program is available here. You can watch the full Conference on YouTube using the links below:

Case for Democracy Conference Report

This report summarizes key findings and discussions from the Case for Democracy Conference in Brussels. Read and download here.

Webinar Week 2021

From March 22–25, 2021 this week featured five 1.5-hour webinars 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. The webinars are found on YouTube using the links below: