The Quality of Democracy: Theory and Applications

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The Quality of Democracy: Theory and Applications

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Description

In 1996, Guillermo O Donnell taught a seminar at the University of Notre Dame on democratic theory. One of the questions explored in this class was whether it is possible to define and determine the “quality” of democracy. Jorge Vargas Cullell, a student in this course, returned to his native country of Costa Rica, formed a small research team, and secured funding for undertaking a “citizen audit” of the quality of democracy in Costa Rica. This pathbreaking volume contains O Donnell s qualitative theoretical study of the quality of democracy and Vargas Cullell s description and analysis of the empirical data he gathered on the quality of democracy in Costa Rica. It also includes twelve short, scholarly reflections on the O Donnell and Cullell essays.

The primary goal of this collection is to present the rationale and methodology for implementing a citizen audit of democracy. This book is an expression of a growing concern among policy experts and academics that the recent emergence