Development Studies Internet Resources

Prof. William A. Joseph | Department of Political Science | Wellesley College



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Governance & Politics

What is Good Governance? (UNESCAP)

    • A good overview of the the concept of "good governance" from the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.


    • The Afrobarometer is an independent, nonpartisan research project that measures the social, political, and economic atmosphere in Africa. Afrobarometer surveys are conducted in more that a dozen African countries and are repeated on a regular cycle. Because the instrument asks a standard set of questions, countries can be systematically compared. Trends in public attitudes are tracked over time. Results are shared with decision makers, policy advocates, civic educators, journalists, researchers, donors and investors, as well as average Africans who wish to become more informed and active citizens.

Arab Democracy Barometer

    • The Arab Democracy Barometer was established in 2005 by the Institute for Social Research of the University of Michigan in close collaboration with institutions and scholars in the Arab world. Like other regional Democracy Barometers, the objectives of the Arab Barometer are to produce scientifically reliable data on the politically-relevant attitudes of ordinary citizens, to disseminate and apply survey findings in order to contribute to political reform, and to strengthen institutional capacity for public opinion research.

Asian Barometer

    • The Asian Barometer (ABS) is an applied research program on public opinion on political values, democracy, and governance around the region. The regional network encompasses research teams from 13 East Asian political systems (Japan, Mongolia, South Koreas, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia), and 5 South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal). Together, this regional survey network covers virtually all major political systems in the region, systems that have experienced different trajectories of regime evolution and are currently at different stages of political transition. The mission and task of each national research team are to administer survey instruments to compile the required micro-level data under a common research framework and research methodology to ensure that the data is reliable and comparable on the issues of citizens' attitudes and values toward politics, power, reform, and democracy in Asia.

Beyond Elections

    • From Venezuela's Communal Councils, to Brazil's Participatory Budgeting, from Constitutional Assemblies to grassroots movements, recuperated factories to cooperatives across the hemisphere. This documentary film is a journey, which takes us across the Americas, to attempt to answer one of the most important questions of our time: What is Democracy? [The entire documentary is available to watch online at this site. For more on the film and filmakers see LINK.]

Corruption Perception Index

    • The annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), first released in 1995, is the best known of Transparency International's tools. It has been widely credited with putting TI and the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda. The CPI ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.

Democratic Governance (UNDP)

    • Through its programmes, UNDP brings people together within nations and around the world, fostering partnerships and sharing ways to promote participation, accountability and effectiveness at all levels. We aim to build effective and capable states that are accountable and transparent, inclusive and responsive — from elections to participation of women and the poor.

The Democracy Web

    • The American Federation of Teachers and Freedom House have periodically worked together to distribute free copies of the Map of Freedom to any history or social studies teachers who request them. The demand has been overwhelming. Many thousands of teachers have asked for copies of the map, which they praise as a uniquely useful teaching tool for courses on global politics. Democracy Web was designed to take advantage of and expand upon this resource. Freedom House and the Albert Shanker Institute have developed Democracy Web's background and resource materials to help teachers get much more use out of the annual survey and map. The materials center on an informational website and teachers' study guide for use with secondary- and college-level students—those who are just commencing their roles as citizens

Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy (PDF)

    • The Economist has examined the state of democracy in 167 countries and attempted to quantify this with an Economist Intelligence Unit Index of Democracy which focuses on five general categories; electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture. (From Wikipedia)

Elections by Country - Wikipedia

    • Up-to-date election results from countries around the world.

IFES Election Guide

    • Election Guide is provided by IFES (The International Foundation for Electoral Systems), an international nonprofit dedicated to the building of democratic societies. Launched in 1998 through a generous grant from USAID, ElectionGuide is the most comprehensive and timely source of verified election information and results available online.

Failed States Index

    • Whether it is an unexpected food crisis or a devastating hurricane, the world’s weakest states are the most exposed when crisis strikes. In the fourth annual Failed States Index, FOREIGN POLICY and The Fund for Peace rank the countries where state collapse may be just one disaster away.

Failed and Fragile States

    • As part of a broader effort to enable more effective international engagement in failed and fragile states, a team from Carleton University's Country Indicators for Foreign Policy project (CIFP - has been working with the Canadian government in a multi-year initiative that has three objectives. First, we have developed a number of wide-ranging tools that encompass, among other things, the monitoring, forecasting, and evaluation of failed and fragile states, as well as the assessment of supporting policies intended to address the development, security, and economic challenges they represent. The following diagram outlines the full extent of the CIFP analytical framework - known as the CIFP Net Assessment (CNA) - identifying the various modules involved in the analysis.

Freedom in the World

    • Freedom in the World, the annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties by Freedom House. The most cited of such comparative rankings.

International IDEA (The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance)

    • The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. International IDEA’s mission is to support sustainable democratic change by providing comparative knowledge, and assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics.

Inter-Parliamentary Union

    • The IPU is the international organization of Parliaments (Article 1 of the Statutes of the Inter-Parliamentary Union). It was established in 1889. The Union is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and works for peace and co-operation among peoples and for the firm establishment of representative democracy. The site contain data concerning elections and membership of national parliaments (including by gender).


    • Latinobarómetro is an annual public opinion survey that involves some 19,000 interviews in 18 Latin American countries, representing more than 400 million inhabitants. Latinobarómetro Corporation is a non-profit NGO based in Santiago, Chile, and is solely responsible for the production and publication of the data.Latinobarómetro Corporation researches the development of democracy and economies as well as societies, using indicators of opinion, attitudes, behaviour and values. Its results are used by social and political actors, international organizations, governments and the media.

Polity IV Project: Political Regime Characteristics and Transitions, 1800-2007

    • The Polity IV Project continues the Polity research tradition of coding the authority characteristics of states in the world system for purposes of comparative, quantitative analysis. The Polity IV Project carries data collection and analysis through 2007 and is under the direction of Monty G. Marshall at the Center for Systemic Peace and George Mason University.

Stanford Comparative Democracy Project

    • This project attempts to overcome the traditional division between academic disciplines and area studies to understand the process of democratization. Sponsored by the Institute for International Studies of Stanford University.

UNDP Democratic Governance Programme

    • More countries than ever before are working to build democratic governance. Their challenge is to develop institutions and processes that are more responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens, including the poor. UNDP brings people together within nations and around the world, building partnerships and sharing ways to promote participation, accountability and effectiveness at all levels. We help countries strengthen their electoral and legislative systems, improve access to justice and public administration, and develop a greater capacity to deliver basic services to those most in need.

UNDP Oslo Governance Centre

    • UNDP established the Oslo Governance Centre in Oslo, Norway in 2002 as part of its global policy network for democratic governance, at a time when it had become clearer than ever that the fundamental issues of democratic governance are critical for meeting the Millennium Development Goals adopted at the Millennium Summit in 2000.

World Audit

    • The World Audit report reviews the state of public corruption; current practice in human rights; political rights; free speech; and the overall state of the rule of law in 150 nations (all those exceeding one million population). By reference to these, we compile the world democracy table with its subsidiary statistical tables.

World Bank Governance and Anti-Corruption

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