SP resources – Polity 2009 scores

Polity has recently updated its democracy/autocracy scores for 2009. The data set is available here.

The Polity scale goes from -10 (complete autocracy) to +10 (complete democracy). There were several changes from 2008 to 2009 in the overall (i.e. polity2) scores for semi-presidential countries:

Gabon improved from -4 to +3
Kyrgyzstan declined from +3 to +1
Madagascar declined from +7 to 0
Mauritania improved from -5 to -2
Mozambique’s score from 1994 onwards has been recoded as +5 rather than +6 and its score for 2009 is +5
Niger declined from +6 to -3
Senegal’s score for 2007 and 2008 has been recoded as +7 rather than +8 and its score for 2009 is +7

What this means is that two countries (Madagascar and Niger) slipped from the status of ‘democracy’ to ‘anocracy’ in 2009. In addition, the status of ‘democracy’ has been withdrawn retrospectively from Mozambique. So, semi-presidentialism’s record in 2009 was poor. Almost the only bright spot was Gabon, which recorded its highest ever polity2 score.

Bear in mind that Polity does not include small countries in its list (Iceland, Cape Verde and Sao Tome, for example, are all excluded from Polity’s classifications).

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