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  • 1.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Classification and Rating of Democracy: A Comparison2013In: Taiwan Journal of Democracy, ISSN 1815-7238, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 33-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study compares three indexes of democracy, the EIU, Freedom House, and Polity IV, and their classifications and ratings of the level of democracy in 157 countries in 2010. The comparison is based on dichotomous, trichotomous, and continuous measures of democracy. The findings show that the three indexes have discrepancies in all comparisons applied in this study. As a consequence, researchers and others who use democracy indexes should be aware that the indexes reach different conclusions concerning their classifications and ratings of democracy. Scholars also should be aware that the indexes favor and disfavor different countries and regions of the world in their ratings of democracy.

  • 2.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Democracies in Crisis2014In: Contemporary Politics, ISSN 1356-9775, E-ISSN 1469-3631, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 402-420Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The main contribution of this study is to identify democracies in the world that are at risk of

    becoming non-democracies. It is hypothesized that if democracies have a low level of

    legitimacy and have low effectiveness, they are at risk of becoming non-democratic

    regimes. These types of democracies are called weak democracies. Of the seven

    democracies that are identified as weak democracies between 2000 and 2010, the weakest of

    them, Mali, has already fallen. However, looking at the results of this study, it is not

    surprising that the democratic regime in Mali fell. The other six countries that are identified

    as weak democracies are Benin, Mongolia, Lesotho, El Salvador, Belize, and Mexico. The

    democratic regimes in these six weak democracies should be observed in more detail in the

    future to predict whether they are close to falling and losing their democratic institutions, or

    whether they will recover and no longer be weak democracies.

  • 3.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Do Development and Democracy Positively Affect Gender Equality in Cabinets?2015In: Japanese Journal of Political Science, ISSN 1468-1099, E-ISSN 1474-0060, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 332-356Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been argued that economic development and democracy create new opportunities and resources for women to access political power, which should increase gender equality in politics. However, empirical evidence from previous research that supports this argument is mixed. The contribution of this study is to expand the research on gender equality in politics through an in-depth examination of the effect of development and democracy on gender equality in cabinets. This has been completed through separate analyses that include most of the countries in the world across three levels of development (least-developed, developing, and developed) and across different types of political regimes (democracies, royal dictatorships, military dictatorships, and civilian dictatorships). The results demonstrate that economic development and democracy only affect gender equality in cabinets positively in a few environments. Accordingly, the context is important and there seem to be thresholds before development and democracy have any effect. Development has a positive effect in developed countries and in democracies, but it has a negative effect in dictatorships, and the negative effect is strongest in military dictatorships. The level of democracy has a positive effect mainly in dictatorships, and the strongest effect is in civilian dictatorships. The article demonstrates the importance of dividing samples into subsets to increase understanding of what affects women's representation in cabinets in different environments, and I ask scholars to subset samples and run separate analyses more often in comparative studies. Copyright © 2015 Cambridge University Press.

  • 4.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    does closeness matter for voter turnout in proportional systems?: an examination at the local level in Sweden2018In: European Political Science, ISSN 1680-4333, E-ISSN 1682-0983, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 571-586Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is to examine whether citizens are more likely to vote in a political system that uses a proportional electoral system if the election is close. The results show that citizens who live in Swedish municipalities in which the competition between the two leading parties is close are more likely to vote. However, the results also show that the vote gap between the two major traditional blocs, the left and the right, is not important for citizens when they are considering whether or not to vote in municipal elections. In the study, a theoretical argument has been formulated which suggests that voters are confused and discouraged when there are many aspects to consider regarding the form of an upcoming coalition government. Accordingly, potential voters see the issue of how the coalition will be formed as too complex, and therefore the vote gap between the two blocs is not an issue that is prioritised by potential voters.

  • 5.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Does the Choice of Democracy Measure Matter?: Comparisons between the Two Leading Democracy Indices, Freedom House and Polity IV2013In: Government and Opposition, ISSN 0017-257X, E-ISSN 1477-7053, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 201-221Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article investigates whether two different measures of democracy generate the same empirical results. The Freedom House and Polity IV measures are used as the dependent variables. The result shows that statistical significance and explanatory power for different independent variables differ greatly, depending on which democracy index is used as the dependent variable. The results also indicate that Freedom House and Polity IV rate many countries’ levels of democracy differently. It is worrying and problematic for comparative studies of democracy that empirical results differ so much according to which measure of democracy is used.

  • 6.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Evaluating Political Systems: Focus on the Political Performance and the Quality of Democracy2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Political Competition in Sweden 1976-2014: A Comparative Analysis at the Local Level2017In: Comparative Sociology, ISSN 1569-1322, E-ISSN 1569-1330, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 499-522Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The main purpose of this study is to examine political competition on the local level inSweden and to empirically test two theories of political competition, namely whetherthe size of the unit affects the variation in political competition and whether socioeconomicstandards affect the variation in political competition. The findings supportthe suggested causal mechanism between socioeconomic standards and competition.Accordingly, units with higher socioeconomic standards have a higher level of politicalcompetition. Some empirical findings also support the suggested causal mechanismbetween the size of the units and the political competition. The findings show thatpopulation size is a robust determinant of competition and that a larger populationsize affects competition positively. The findings show also that area size is a relativelyrobust determinant of competition and that area size has a negative effect on competition.However the negative effect is contrary to the expectations.

  • 8.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Quality of Democracy: A Comparative Study2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Quality of Democracy Around the Globe: A Comparative Study2013Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study deals with the quality of democracy, and its purpose is to examine which factors affect the varying levels of the quality of democracy in the stable democracies in the world. The research question posited in the study is: what explains the varying levels of the quality of democracy in the democratic countries in the world, and do political institutions matter? Theoretically, the quality of democracy is distinguished from other similar concepts employed in comparative politics, and what the quality of democracy stands for is clarified. The quality of democracy is defined in this study as: the level of legitimacy in a democratic system with respect to democratic norms such as political participation, political competition, political equality, and rule of law. In total, four dimensions of the quality of democracy are included that are considered to be very important dimensions of the quality of democracy. These dimensions are political participation, political competition, political equality, and the rule of law. To explain the variation in the quality of democracy, an explanatory model has been developed. The explanatory model consists of five different groups of independent variables: political institutional variables, socioeconomic variables, cultural variables, historical variables, and physical variables. Methodologically, a large-n, outcome-centric research design is employed and statistical analysis is used to examine what effect the five groups of independent variables have on the four dimensions of the quality of democracy. Empirically, the results show that cultural variables and political institutional variables outperform socioeconomic, historical, and physical variables in relation to their effect on the quality of democracy. Consequently, cultural and political institutional variables are the two most important groups of variables when explaining the variation in the quality of democracy in the democratic countries in the world. In relation to the other groups of variables, historical variables are slightly more important than socioeconomic variables when explaining the variation in the quality of democracy. The physical variables constitute the group of variables that has the least importance out of the five groups of variables when explaining the variation in the quality of democracy. In summary, the findings from the study show that the best way of increasing the level of the quality of democracy may be to choose political institutions such as parliamentarism as the executive power system and a proportional system as the electoral system. To put this clearly, to increase the possibility of democratic countries achieving a high level of the quality of democracy they should avoid majority electoral systems and presidential or semipresidential executive systems.

  • 10.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    The Effect of Gender Quotas in the First Decade of the Twenty-first Century: A Global Comparison2016In: Comparative Sociology, ISSN 1569-1322, E-ISSN 1569-1330, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 179-205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The goal of this study is to examine to what extent gender quotas have contributedto recent increases in women’s representation in parliaments. The results show thatthe effect of quotas on women’s representation in parliaments increased over timeduring the first decade of the twenty-first century, and that in the mid and late partsof the decade quotas are an important determinant of women’s representation in parliaments.However, the results from this study demonstrate that several countries thatuse gender quotas still have low levels of female representation in parliaments, whichindicates that the designs of the quotas are important.

  • 11.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.
    The Gender-Representation Gap in Radical Right Parties: Is There Any Contagion Effect from Parties with Small Gaps?2019In: Comparative Sociology, ISSN 1569-1322, E-ISSN 1569-1330, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 66-93Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is about women's political participation in times of increased influence from radical right parties. The gender-representation gap in the Swedish radical right party, the Sweden Democrats, is examined. A reformulated contagion theory is tested using three hypotheses. To test the hypotheses, a large-N study of all of Sweden's municipalities is conducted. The results show that a large gender-representation gap exists in the Sweden Democrats party compared with that in the other main parties, and the gap has a negative effect on the total level of female representation in the municipal councils. However, the gap and the negative effect are decreasing over time in relation to the other main parties, which supports the hypotheses and the reformulated contagion theory.

  • 12.
    Högström, John
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Women's Representation in National Politics in the World's Democratic Countries: A Research Note2012In: Journal of women, politics & policy, ISSN 1554-4788, E-ISSN 1554-4788, Vol. 33, no 3, p. 263-279Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this research note, I introduce a new concept for examining women's political representation. This concept deals with women's representation both in parliaments and governments. I name the new concept "women's representation in national politics." The empirical results of this study demonstrate that the independent variable region is the variable with the greatest explanatory power of the independent variables used in this study. The results show that Scandinavia has extraordinarily high levels of female representation in national politics. The results also show that three countries in Oceania-Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu-do not have any female representation in national politics.

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