OJPS  Vol.6 No.1 , January 2016
The Pursuit of Quality: Assessing Democracies… to Save Democracy?
For over a decade, there has been the widespread awareness that western democracies need to be reformed if they want to successfully cope with the crisis that they are experiencing; also, ultimately, if they want to be able to increase their own level of quality. The aim of this article is to illustrate why and how the quality of a democracy can (and indeed, must) be assessed with the purpose of improving it. Passing through a reflection on the state of the art of a major sector of studies in the international scientific scenario, and by presenting an original typological proposal to classify these same studies, we maintain that the crisis of democracy may be overcome, first of all, by improving the assessment skills of scholars and, secondly, by transforming the knowledge on democratic quality into useful knowledge for citizens.

Cite this paper
Tebaldi, M. and Calaresu, M. (2016) The Pursuit of Quality: Assessing Democracies… to Save Democracy?. Open Journal of Political Science, 6, 1-9. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2016.61001.
[1]   Almond, G. A., & Powell, G. B. (1978). Comparative Politics. System, Process and Policy. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.

[2]   Crozier, M. J., Huntington, S. P., & Watanuki, J. (1975). The Crisis of Democracy. New York: New York University Press.

[3]   Dahl, R. A. (1989). Democracy and Its Critics. New Haven, London: Yale University Press.

[4]   Dalton, R. J. (2004). Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268436.001.0001

[5]   Diamond, L. J., & Morlino, L. (2005). Assessing the Quality of Democracy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

[6]   Easton, D. (1953). The Political System: An Inquiry into the State of Political Science. New York: Knopf.

[7]   Eckstein, H. (1971). The Evaluation of Political Performance. London: Sage.

[8]   Gallagher, T. (2014). Europe’s Path to Crisis: Disintegration via Monetary Union. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

[9]   Gray, M., & Caul, M. (2000). Declining Voter Turnout in Advanced Industrial Democracies, 1950 to 1997. The Effects of Declining Group Mobilization. Comparative Political Studies, 33, 1091-1021. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010414000033009001

[10]   Huntington, S. P. (1991). The Third Wave. Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Norman: Oklahoma University Press.

[11]   Morlino, L. (1998). Democracy between Consolidation and Crisis. Parties, Groups, and Citizens in Southern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198280823.001.0001

[12]   Morlino, L. (2012). Changes for Democracy: Actors, Structures, Processes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[13]   Nagle, J. D., & Mahr, A. (1999). Democracy and Democratization: Post Communist Europe in Comparative Perspective. London: Sage.

[14]   Newton, K., & Norris, P. (2000). Confidence in Public Institutions: Faith, Culture, or Performance? In S. J. Pharr, & R. D. Putnam (Eds.), Disaffected Democracies: What’s Troubling the Trilateral Democracies? (pp. 52-73). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[15]   Nye, J. (1997). Introduction: The Decline of Confidence in Government. In J. S. Nye, P. D. Zelikow, & D. C. King (Eds.), Why People Don’t Trust Government? (pp. 1-19). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

[16]   Panebianco, A. (1989). Le scienze sociali e i limiti dell’illuminismo applicato. In A. Panebianco (Ed.), L’analisi della politica (pp. 563-596). Bologna: Il Mulino.

[17]   Papadopoulos, Y. (2013). Democracy in Crisis? Politics, Governance and Policy. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

[18]   Pasquino, G. (2005). The Quality of Democracy. Working Paper Series, Paper No. 002-1/4, Oxford: Centre for the Study of Democratic Government, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.

[19]   Pennock, R. J. (1966). Political Development, Political Systems, and Political Goods. World Politics, 18, 415-434. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2009763

[20]   Pharr, S. J., & Putnam, R. D. (Eds.) (2000). Disaffected Democracies: What’s Troubling The Trilateral Countries? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[21]   Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster.

[22]   Rondinelli, D. A., & Cheema, S. (Eds.) (2003). Reinventing Government for the Twenty-First Century: State Capacity in a Globalizing Society. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.

[23]   Rose, R., & Peters, B. G. (1978). Can Government Go Bankrupt? New York: Basic Books.

[24]   Sartori, G. (1987). Theory of Democracy Revisited. Chatham, NJ: Chatham House.

[25]   Welzel, C., & Inglehart, R. (2005). Liberalism, Postmaterialism, and the Growth of Freedom. International Review of Sociology, 15, 81-108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03906700500038579