Varieties of Democracy Project

The Varieties of Democracy Project (V-Dem) is an ambitious international effort to produce new indicators of democracy for all countries since 1900. With measures of democracy in great demand, V-Dem provides the global community with the world’s most comprehensive, accurate, and detailed democracy ratings.

An International Collaboration

V-Dem is a collaborative project led by five principal investigators: Faculty Fellow Michael Coppedge, former Visiting Fellow John Gerring of the University of Texas at Austin, Staffan I. Lindberg of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Jan Teorell of the University of Stockholm, Sweden, and Carl Henrik Knutsen of the University of Oslo, Norway. In addition to its PIs, the V-Dem team includes 18 researchers at 16 universities in the US, Europe, and Latin America; 31 Regional Managers all over the world; and more than 3000 country experts.

The Kellogg Institute initially served as V -Dem 's institutional home in the United States with responsibility for research software development and data collection in the Western Hemisphere; the University of Gothenburg in Sweden was its institutional home in Europe and beyond, with responsibility for administrative software development, data collection in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and all other tasks. Over time responsibilities gradually shifted toward the V-Dem Institute, and in 2016 the Kellogg Institute was designated as the Regional V-Dem Center in North America. The V-Dem Institute in Gothenburg now collects the data and publishes an annual Democracy Report. The Catholic University of Chile, in collaboration with the Kellogg Institute, began publishing a Spanish-language edition of the Democracy Report in 2023, and a Portuguese edition is planned.

Download the V-Dem Democracy Report here.

Download the V-Dem Dataset here.

A New Understanding of Democratization

V-Dem seeks to capture seven different conceptions of democracy—participatory, consensual, majoritarian, deliberative, and egalitarian, in addition to the more familiar electoral and liberal democracy—in all countries since 1900. The different types of democracy are broken down into components and then into more than 400 specific indicators. The reliable, precise nature of the indicators as well as their lengthy historical coverage is useful to scholars studying why democracy succeeds or fails and how it affects human development, as well as to governments and NGOs wishing to evaluate efforts to promote democracy. V-Dem makes the improved indicators freely available for use by researchers, NGOs, international organizations, activists, and journalists.

  • More information about V-Dem is available at, including visualization interfaces for data from 177 countries and the complete 2018 dataset for download.
  • The V-Dem archive at Curate ND contains coder-level data and uncertainty estimates.

Watch: Varieties of Democracy: Global Standards, Local Knowledge TEDxUND 1/24/14

Kellogg Community Involvement

The Varieties of Democracy project has benefitted from the involvement of the entire Kellogg community:

  • Many Kellogg Faculty Fellows and graduate Research Affiliates participated in the March 2023 conference on the V-Dem book, Why Democracies Develop and Decline.
  • Data Launch Workshops help Notre Dame researchers learn how to make the most of newly public data.
  • Kellogg faculty fellows and graduate students gave input through the Democracy Working Group.
  • Co-PIs and project leaders have visited the Institute to lecture and take part in working sessions.
  • Co-PI John Gerring was a 2011–12 Kellogg visiting fellow and Project Manager David Altman was a visiting fellow in fall 2012.
  • Project Manager Kelly McMann will be a Visiting Fellow in 2024-25.
  • Undergraduate international scholars have assisted Michael Coppedge's research on international influences on democracy.
  • Other Undergraduate assistants have helped build a database of potential country experts, gathered data on legislatures, and helped to edit the project’s website.
  • Kellogg PhD fellows and dissertation year fellows have served as project research assistants.


Building on seed funding from the Kellogg Institute and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2010, V-Dem has gone on to win more than $20 million in project support. (Funds are for the entire collaboration but listed under their recipient institutions.) Proposals for additional funding are under development. 

The portions contributed or received by the Kellogg Institute, totaling more than $600,000, include funds from Androniko Luksic Grants Program, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Research Council of Norway, National Science Foundation, and the University of Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Office of Research, and Center for Creative Computing 


(areas of project expertise listed next to names)

Principal Investigators

Michael Coppedge (University of Notre Dame) Latin America
John Gerring (University of Texas, Austin) Deliberative Democracy
Staffan I. Lindberg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) Elections; Africa
Svend-Erik Skanning (Aarhus University, Denmark) Civil Liberties; Western Europe Former Principal Investigator Jan Teorell (Lund University, Sweden) The Executive, Europe


Former Principal Investigator

Jan Teorell (Lund University, Sweden) The Executive, Europe

Project Managers

David Altman (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) Direct Democracy; Latin America
Michael Bernhard (University of Florida) Civil Society; Sovereignty; Central & Eastern Europe
M. Steven Fish (University of California, Berkeley) Legislatures; Post-Soviet States
Adam Glynn (Emory University) Causal Inference
Allen Hicken (University of Michigan) Parties and Party Systems; Asia
Carl Henrik Knutsen (University of Oslo) Historical Data Patrik Lindenfors (Stockholm University) Evolutionary Theory, Democratization

Kelly McMann (Case Western Reserve University) Subnational Government; Russia & Central Asia
Pamela Paxton (University of Texas, Austin) Formal & Descriptive Representation
Daniel Pemstein (North Dakota State University) Measurement Methods
Jeffrey Staton (Emory University) The Judiciary; Latin America


Former Project Managers

Matthew Kroenig (Georgetown University) Legislatures; Western Europe
Holli Semetko (Emory University) Media; Western Europe


V-Dem Highlights

Learn more about the work of the Kellogg community of scholars in the Varieties of Democracy Project.