Populists in power, constitutional change, and democratic backsliding by University of Hamburg

This is a blog post about a recent academic paper of me and a co-author. The blog text is written by both of us while the visualization is solely my work.
The article is about whether populists in government use constitutional changes to decrease democratic quality as often implied by many researchers an journalists. The article and interactive tool show that the effect of populism on democratic quality differs a lot depending on what aspects of democracy and which region we look at. This is why you can choose between different types of democratic aspects and countries to evaluate how populism has impacted democratic quality and whether this went along with constitutional changes.
Another topic picked up in the visualization is the debate on how to measure populism. This is hard to do as populism is a latent concept and we need long-term data to understand their impact once they are in government. We offer the user different definitions of populism in power so they can view whether these impact the relationship between populism in power, constitutional change and democracy.
Usually, these would be analyses in the appendix. But, I feel that doing large-N analyses, we often do not know enough about the different cases in our data. This tool has helped us a lot to understand our data and it puts the main message of the paper as well as the necessary robustness checks in the center of the story. If the regression analysis tells us that there is a positive effect on egalitarian democracy in Latin America, we can inspect which cases are driving these results.