Use this page to work on the classification criteria that your group is developing. This will be a checklist that explains how each of you is supposed to classify a randomly drawn regime.

Issues to consider:

  • Will you be measuring "democracy" and "dictatorship" or something related (e.g., freedom, authority?) What is the interesting thing you want to measure? (E.g., the size of the selectorate, or the degree of constraint on executive power, or anything else).
  • How will you determine whether a country is a dictatorship or not? Will you focus on observable features of the regime, or will you make subjective judgments? What observable criteria can you use?
  • Will you make a classification based on a number of different categories, or on an index (from 0 to 10, for example)
  • Does your criteria appear to require data that is hard to obtain? Where do you think you can get the information?
  • How do you deal with countries that are/were not independent?
  • How do you deal with civil war or revolution? Can there be a “regime” during times of civil war or revolution?
  • Will you distinguish between different kinds of dictatorship? If so, how?
  • What sorts of questions could this classification help answer?

Remember to write down your classification criteria as precisely as possible. For example, if you think that "competitive elections" is the important characteristic, you need to write down exactly what conditions make an election competitive: do there need to be multiple parties? does the winner need to win by fewer than certain number of votes? Will international observers need to certify the election?

FLOW CHART GROUP - Charles, Jenna, Melissa, Dominic, Nicola, Richie, Grace and Poppy?

THURSDAY 24th- The draft of our Gandhi/Minimalist section we did today,

1. Are there elections? Yes- go to 2, no=dictatorship
2. Are elections held regularly (nb:need to define what regular means in this) yes- go to 3, if no go to 4.
3. Are elections strongly contended (maybe give example/define what we mean by strongly contended) if yes go to 5. if no=dictatorship (How do you plan to make this precise? Perhaps by looking at the number of parties that contest the election? Or the percentage of votes that the government party gets? - xmarquez xmarquez Mar 24, 2011)
4. Based on the history of ___ is the government likely to cede power if they lose elections? if yes go to 5, if no=Gandhi's definition of dictatorship (You might need to say more about this question. What sorts of judgments do you want people to make? - xmarquez xmarquez Mar 24, 2011)
5.Is there universal suffrage? if yes= DEMOCRACY category, if no=DICTATORSHIP category (Might need a fuller description here. Perhaps "is a significant part of the population disqualified from voting?" - xmarquez xmarquez Mar 24, 2011)