This Practical Guide presents International IDEA’s State of Democracy (SoD) assessment Framework. Developed for public use around the world, the SoD Framework has been applied in some 20 countries worldwide since its first launch in 2000.

The Framework is different from other methodologies because its comprehensive assessments are led and owned by local actors, and move away from the practice of ranking democratic performance and making external judgements. It combines a commitment to the principles of democracy with dialogue, and looks beyond the formal existence of democratic institutions and focuses, more importantly, on their performance.

The Practical Guide also links assessment to reform and in doing so, highlights achievements and challenges as well as lessons learnt from previous assessment teams’ experiences.

Others seeking to apply the Framework in their countries stand to benefit greatly from the experiences, lessons and insights shared from the State of Democracy Network, a community of practice that has applied the SoD assessment Framework in their countries and regions. The Practical Guide also offers guidance on sources and standards of good practice.


Publication date
10 April 2013
David Beetham, Edzia Carvalho, Todd Landman, Stuart Weir
Number of pages
King Prajadhipok's Institute (KPI)
978-974-449-700-0 (Print)


Foreword: the state of democracy


Acronyms and abbreviations

Part 1: Democracy assessment: explaining the method

Part 2: The framework

Part 3: The assessment experiences

Part 4: From assessment to reform: influencing the democratic process


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Assessing the Quality of Democracy: A Practical Guide

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