Global Quality of Democracy as an Innovation Enabler

Global Quality of Democracy as an Innovation Enabler


“Global Quality of Democracy as an Innovation Enabler” by Dr David Campbell, University of Vienna, asks how can we conceptualise and measure democracy? Can we determine the quality of democracy in global comparison, and how does quality of democracy act and play in favour of enabling innovation?


Read the book through Palgrave Macmillan here:


Hello and welcome to Research Pod. Thanks for listening and joining us today.


In this episode, we’re looking at the recent publication from Dr David Campbell, “Global Quality of Democracy as an Innovation Enabler“, which concentrates on the following research questions: How to conceptualize and to measure democracy, the quality of democracy in global comparison, and how does quality of democracy act and play in favour of enabling innovation?


The conceptual framework of analysis introduced by Dr Campbell, Associate Professor for Comparative Political Science at the University of Vienna, refers to a five-dimensional structure of democracy and quality of democracy, and identifies the following basic dimensions as being relevant for further analysis:

· freedom,

· equality,

· control,

· sustainable development,

· and self-organization (political self-organization).

In this book, Dr Campbell assesses the interconnectedness of democracy and economic development. It concentrates on how to conceptualize and to measure democracy and quality of democracy in global comparison.


The book develops a truly global and up-to-date perspective of democracy and quality of democracy. The book not only addresses democracies, but also semi-democracies and non-democracies. Government/opposition cycles, or political swings of power, represent one crucial form of manifestation of self-organization within a democracy. In that sense the book is unique, as no other publication out there is addressing these issues in a world-wide perspective.


One crucial argument here is that a quality-of-democracy understanding based on sustainable development relates crucially with economic growth, but more so with economic development. In its conceptual domain, the book refers to democracy and quality-of-democracy discourses, but will also cross refer to discourses in knowledge, sustainable development and innovation.


The empirical macro-model focuses on 161 countries or territories, and covers a fifteen-year period of 2002-2016. By this, the model addresses more than ninety-nine percent of the world population. The model refers not only to democracies, but also to non-democracies and semi-democracies. This global perspective appears necessary for a comprehensive understanding of democracy, democracy development and development of quality of democracy.


Dr Campbell grounds his work in both theory and a practical basis, by developing empirical models using indicators. In line with academic research, this book can serve as a teaching tool, and support practicioners in strategy, decision-making and problem-solving.


The Nordic countries; the United States; the European Union (both the EU15 and EU28); Japan; OECD; Brazil; China; India; Indonesia; Nigeria; Russia; Latin America; Asia; and averages for the world are compared and analyzed in greater detail:


Several hypotheses are developed and presented for discussion that summarize the empirical research evidence and offer optional references for further research on democracy and quality of democracy in global comparison. Furthermore, the analysis intends to cross-refer to knowledge and innovation discourses on the basis of Quadruple and Quintuple Helix innovation systems, making connections to a multi-dimensional understanding of democracy and quality of democracy.


To quote from one of the Dr Campbells hypotheses, on the Quality of Democracy and Knowledge Democracy :


Knowledge democracy emphasizes the importance of knowledge and innovation for the quality of democracy and the sustainable development of democracy, society and economy. This also is being emphasized by the theory, concept and model of the “Quadruple and Quintuple Helix Innovation Systems”


Expectations are that democracies with a higher quality of democracy also will be knowledge democracies. “Democracy as Innovation Enabler” has here at least the following meanings:


Firstly, political pluralism in a democracy encourages also a diversity of knowledge and innovation that is necessary for development (also economic development and economic growth).


Advanced economies are driven by knowledge and innovation, so they require a democracy, but in principle this also should refer to emerging and developing economies;


At least in principle, “democracy as innovation enabler” also applies to emerging and developing economies, but may not always be realized and applied;


The diversity within democracies, (that is, political diversity as well as knowledge and innovation diversity) may feed effectively into the next-generation creations of knowledge production an innovation system evolution. These will be necessary for progress, and further advances of knowledge society, knowledge economy and knowledge democracy in a global format;


Finally, as a last note and thought: perhaps the economic successes of non-democracies or autocracies (authoritarian and semi-authoritarian regimes) are being overestimated anyway, because autocracies are also benefitting from the knowledge production and innovation systems of other democracies, so in that sense autocracy is depending on democracy and the knowledge and innovation of democracy in a global system.


The book is available now through Palgrave Macmillan at the links in the notes for this show. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed to ResearchPod for more on the latest research news. See you again soon.

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