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Journal Article

A Global Measure of Judicial Independence, 1948–2012

Drew A. Linzer and Jeffrey K. Staton
Journal of Law and Courts
Vol. 3, No. 2 (September 2015), pp. 223-256
DOI: 10.1086/682150
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/682150
Page Count: 34
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A Global Measure of Judicial Independence, 1948–2012
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Abstract

AbstractWe present a new cross-national measure of de facto judicial independence, which is available for 200 countries from 1948 to 2012. To do so, we introduce a statistical measurement model for uncovering latent concepts commonly encountered in time-series, cross-sectional analyses in comparative politics and international relations. Our approach addresses unique challenges that arise in these data: temporal dependence in the observed and unobserved variables, conceptual boundedness in the latent quantity, and substantial missing data and measurement error in the observable indicators. The resulting measures match a common conceptual definition of independence with greater reliability than existing alternatives. The model is extensible to many concepts in comparative politics and international relations.

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