The V-Dem Regional Center conducts research on democracy and democratization in Eastern Europe and Russia, focusing on the Varieties of Democracy dataset. The V-Dem project involves measuring levels of democracy in over 170 countries across more than 100 years. It does this by breaking democracy down into 7 broad principles and operationalizing them across 450 different variables. Slightly more than half of the variables are compiled based on institutional information and existing sources. The rest are based on country experts, who have been asked to code more proximate variables related to institutional practice or performance.
For scholars of Eastern Europe and Russia, the V-Dem database offers unprecedented opportunities to study democracy and democratization in these regions. In addition to time-series analyses of democratic change from 1900 to 2012, we can also drill down into individual components of democracy and examine constellations of democracy in particular countries or regions. Because the V-Dem database encompasses the entire world, we can also conduct cross-regional comparisons in order to better flesh out the particularities of Eastern Europe and Russia.
At the V-Dem Regional Center for Eastern Europe and Russia, our current focus is on the analysis of democratic development in the Baltic region during both the interwar period and following re-independence in 1991. Preliminary research results will be presented during our annual conference.