The Beauty and the Beast. A Tale of Democratic Crises and Globalization

Bühlmann, Marc (2013). The Beauty and the Beast. A Tale of Democratic Crises and Globalization. International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development, 4(1), pp. 44-65. IGI Global 10.4018/jsesd.2013010103

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There are two competing hypotheses concerning the connection between democracy and globalization. The critics hold globalization responsible for an ongoing crisis of democracy. The enthusiasts highlight the positive contributions of financial openness and international political cooperation on the development of democracy. In this contribution the author investigates the interrelation between globalization and the quality of established democracies. He introduces the Democracy Barometer, a new instrument that measures the quality of democracy in 30 established democratic regimes between 1995 and 2005 and that explicitly does not measure sustainable government because it aims at serving as dependent as well as independent variable to explain different economic, societal and natural environment, i.e. sustainable development. Based on this instrument, the author first shows that one cannot speak of an ongoing crisis of (established) democracies. Second, he also conducts several multilevel analyses to model the different developments of the quality of democracy in the different countries. The author then shows that economy, i.e. economic globalization indeed has a positive impact on the quality of democracy. However, this impact is stronger in stable, i.e. older than in younger established democracies. Further investigations show that a high quality of democracy also goes hand in hand with societal and environmental performance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Bühlmann, Marc


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




IGI Global




Marc Bühlmann

Date Deposited:

23 May 2014 14:00

Last Modified:

14 Oct 2017 12:54

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Democracy, Democracy Barometer, Globalization, Quality of Democracy, Sustainable Development




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