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  • 1.
    Denk, Thomas
    Department of Political Science, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland.
    How to measure polyarchy with Freedom House: A proposal for revision2013In: Quality and quantity, ISSN 0033-5177, E-ISSN 1573-7845, Vol. 47, no 6, p. 3457-3471Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In studies on democracy and democratization, the Freedom House Index (FHI) isfrequently used to measure the concept of polyarchy. This approach creates an often noticeddiscrepancy between the conceptual and measurement levels. The concept of polyarchy isregarded as a minimalist definition of democracy, which mainly refers to the proceduralaspects of political systems, while FHI indicates a maximalist definition of democracy. Thisarticle presents a proposal to improve the conceptual validity when FHI is used to measurethe concept of polyarchy. The proposal suggests that the FHI is adjusted in two aspects. First,some sub-categories within the FHI are excluded based on their lack of relevance for theconcept of polyarchy. Second, the principle of aggregation is changed from simple arithme-tic addition to multiplication, which corresponds to the idea that all democratic institutions,according to the concept of polyarchy, are necessary for the democratic system. These twosuggestions create a revisited index that is based on the FHI. As illustrated with empiricalanalyses, the revisited index provides a quite different view of democratization at the globaland state levels.

  • 2.
    Denk, Thomas
    et al.
    Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland.
    Christensen, Henrik Serup
    Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland.
    How to classify political cultures?: A comparison of three methods of classification2016In: Quality and quantity, ISSN 0033-5177, E-ISSN 1573-7845, Vol. 50, no 1, p. 177-191Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To study the composition of political cultures, it is necessary to classify citizens according to a theoretical typology of political subcultures. Different methods of classification have been used for confronting this challenge, but the choice of method is rarely discussed in any detail because most studies apply a method without considering implications or possible alternatives. This is unfortunate because the choice of method has important consequences for the ensuing results. With this article, we aim to determine the implications of different methods for classification and hereby call attention to the importance of this choice for comparative research on political culture. We compare three commonly used methods of classification: critical thresholds, factor analysis and cluster analysis. These methods are used for classifying respondents from the 2008 European Social Survey according to a typology of political subcultures. Based on empirical analyses, we conclude that: (a) the choice of method of classification affects the outcome of the analysis, (b) cluster analysis and factor analysis may result in classifications that do not adequately reflect the theoretical typology, and (c) cluster analysis and factor analysis provide classifications that differ depending on analytical level. While the results do not show that either method is inherently superior, they clearly demonstrate that the choice of method should be recognized as a critical part of the research process.

  • 3.
    Denk, Thomas
    et al.
    Department of Political Science, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland.
    Lehtinen, Sarah
    Department of Political Science, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland.
    Contextual analyses with QCA-methods2014In: Quality and quantity, ISSN 0033-5177, E-ISSN 1573-7845, Vol. 48, no 6, p. 3475-3487Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Contextual analyses are essential in comparative research, as they investigate the importance of contextual conditions for causal relationships. During the last decades, an increasing number of comparative studies have also focused on how contextual conditions affect causal relationships. At the same time, new comparative methods have been developed based on set-theoretical logics. Two of the most prominent methods are csQCA and fsQCA, which are used in comparative studies with increasing frequency. However, the conventional design for contextual analysis is still based on quantitative methods and the use of interaction-factors. This article discusses why the use of interaction-factors is not suitable together with QCA-methods. Instead of the conventional design, the article presents an alternative design for contextual analyses with QCA-methods grounded on subgroup-design. Based on one recently-developed methodology comparative multilevel analysis (CMA), some guidelines for performing contextual analyses with two set-theoretical methods (csQCA and fsQCA) are presented. As illustrated with examples, the combination of CMA and QCA provides opportunities to use QCA for contextual analysis.

  • 4.
    Edvardsson, Bo
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
    Lindén, Michael
    A method for evaluation of metric properties of response scales1976In: Quality and quantity, ISSN 0033-5177, E-ISSN 1573-7845, Vol. 10, no 3, p. 241-249Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The metric properties of five different response scales in measurment of attitudes, interests and personality traits are studied with an experiment group (N = 97) and a control group (N=40). The scales were different in how equal the distances between the response alternatives were. 

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