Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler stand together on an reviewing stand during Mussolini's official visit in Munich.

What causes democratic declines, and what makes it possible for democracies to develop further? With DEDERE, we set out to identify the most important causes of what we term democratic deepening and regression, i.e., movements from less democratic to more democratic regime types and vice versa. To do this, we use a novel theoretical framework, focusing on the interaction between four conditions: state capacity, party system institutionalization, civil society, and the structure of the international system. Moreover, we enlist new, fine-grained data covering more than a century, and we combine cross-national data analysis with case studies to provide a nuanced understanding of political regime developments.

The general research goals are:

1)To provide a detailed overview of political regime developments from 1900 to 2012

2)To explain patterns of democratic deepening and regression across time and space

3)To reveal similarities and differences in developments and determinants across different periods and regions