In the face of ongoing democratization in recent decades, the measurement and evaluation of democracy has received special attention. The focus, so far, has been on whether a state is a democracy or not; but what about the quality of established democracies? Can they claim to be perfectly democratic and escape scrutiny? What defines a good or high quality democracy? And how can we evaluate the consolidation processes of new democracies?
The project "Democracy Barometer" has developed an instrument to assess the quality of 70 established and new democracies and to measure the fine differences that exist between them. It allows for benchmarking between established democracies and, as democracy is seen as an ongoing process, a critical observation of their democratic development over time. The data of the Democracy Barometer are continuously being extended, refined, and updated. Furthermore, the project focuses on how democracy is perceived by citizens in times of crisis and on how it is diffused.