Introducing the Democratic Electoral Systems data, 1919-1945. [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

Open Research Europe


Nils-Christian Bormann


This data note introduces an update to the widely-used Democratic Electoral Systems (DES) data that encompasses the period from 1919 to 1945. The data include 243 legislative lower house and presidential elections in 34 interwar democracies. Information on these elections falls into four categories: first and foremost, DES contains variables that capture the institutional rules that define how elections are organized. Second, the data captures the consequences of electoral rules in the form of summary statistics of electoral outcomes. Third, we include democracy classifications for four major democracy datasets so that users can choose their preferred democracy definition when working with the data. Finally, the DES dataset contains multiple identification variables that allow linking the DES data to a wide variety of other datasets. This update to the DES data is fully compatible with prior releases for the post-war period 1–3.