What is democracy? Under what conditions does it thrive? And what are the consequences of democracy? This book written by the eminent team of Jan-Erik Lane and Svante Ersson, answers these, and more, highly topical questions by exploring different varieties of democracies around the world. A democratic regime exists more or less w in almost 50 per cent of the countries of the world, and is possible in many more countries. But how likely is it? Beginning with definitions of democracy, the book divides the concept into three dimensions, which provide the framework for the study of democracy in all its forms. These dimensions form the three main sections of the book: *Constitutional democracy which explores political rights *Participatory democracy which focuses on participation of citizens *Egalitarian democracy which examines outcomes of democracy in terms of equality This book uses data from countries around the world to estimate the probability of a stable democracy or the probability of democratic consolidation, and asks whether democracy is more determined from outside the political system or from inside it. As well as looking at factors conducive to democracy, this book also considers the consequences of democracy, by focussing upon the link between democracy and outcomes such as equality, social protection and the environment. With its methodological positivist approach and comparative perspective, this book will be an invaluable reference tool for students and researchers studying democracy., democratic theory and democratisation, comparative politics, political science or public policy and administration.