To comply or not to comply? Building an index for constitutional compliance
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- Master theses 
There are limited, but increasing, attempts at quantitatively measuring the distance between de jure provisions and their de facto adherence. Such attempts seem mostly concerned with rights provisions, but some also concern the independence of the judiciary. This thesis seeks to enter the discussion on how such measurement should happen by contributing an index of constitutional compliance for a set of 175 states through 41 years. The index attempts to measure both structural and rights provisions. It is divided into four components, one for provisions regarding the executive, one for the legislature, one for the judiciary and public administration, and one for rights. The index is further analysed to assess amongst predictors from the literature on state repression of de facto rights, what might prove to be influencing a broader concept of constitutional compliance. The findings indicate that executive compliance with the high court’s decisions and electoral democracy lead to increases in compliance scores across countries. The comprehensiveness of the constitution, or how many provisions are present, have a curvilinear relationship with compliance but also seems a consistent predictor. The main determinant of compliance seems to be, however, path dependency. Constitutions perform many functions, where constitutionalism is of particular interest for this thesis. Constitutional compliance is here conceptualised as the mechanism through which restraining and enabling of government power happens. The index is a first step towards further operationalising the concept of constitutionalism.