Johannes Gerschewski, Marcus Tannenberg, Michael Bernhard, Anna Lührmann, Christian von Soest | 2019

Regime Legitimation Strategies (RLS), 1900-2018

in: V-Dem Working Paper 86, University of Gothenburg: V-Dem Institute.

AbstractIn this paper we introduce new expert-coded measures of regime legitimation strategies for 179 countries inthe world from 1900 up until 2018 that are comparable across time and space. Country experts have ratedthe extent to which the government promotes or referencesits performance, the person of the leader, rational-legality, and ideologyin order to justify the regime in place. With regards to ideology, the experts are furtherasked to categorize the ideology of the regime asnationalist, communist/socialist, conservative/restorative,religious, and/or separatist. The main purpose of this paper is to describe and validate the data againstexpectations on claims from case studies as well as with existing regime type classifications. We show thatexperts do understand and can be employed to code legitimation claims. Not only do we document historicalshifts in legitimation claims, but the measures also pick up recent trends, such as, an increased emphasisof the leader in countries such as Russia, Turkey, Cambodia over the last decades, and more recently alsoin India and the Philippines; as well as recent increases in legitimation claims based on both conservativeand nationalist ideologies the European countries Serbia, Hungary and Poland, which also have experiencedautocratization in recent years.


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