Joachim Blatter, Andrea Blättler & Samuel D. Schmid, "What Happened/s to Inclusion? A Plea and Three Proposals for Closing the Gap between Democratic Theory and Empirical Measurement of Democracies", April 2015
This paper aims to contribute to the new wave of democracy measurement that we have experienced during the last years. We show that the new democracy measurement tools represent major steps forwards in aligning methodology to theory and practice. Nevertheless, we argue that in respect to the fundamental dimension of inclusion there is still a gap between measurement tools and theoretical discourse/practical struggles. We proceed as follows: First, we show that the “problem of inclusion” (Dahl) is now once again at the forefront of both political struggles and normative democratic theory. Second, we show how and why it was side-lined in almost all important democracy indices in the 20th century and that it is only taken up on the margins of the two most recent and sophisticated democracy measurement tools. Third, we sketch three pathways to close the gap between the practical struggles of democratization and normative theories of democracy on the one hand and democracy measurement on the other hand. Since we believe that the inclusion of immigrants is currently the most important frontier of democratic inclusion and because in normative democratic theory there exists an overwhelming consensus that immigrants have to be included into the demoi of nation-states, we focus on this group; yet there are further political struggles and normative debates to expand the boundary of the demos (e.g. towards non-adults and towards all affected), which should not be ignored either.