The IFCD organizes data for Council of Europe member states in a conceptual framework based on two domains: Culture and Democracy. Culture is defined in a narrow sense: as cultural activity (or production) that is based on cultural values emphasising cultural freedom, equality, and pluralism. Democracy is understood as a form of government where citizens choose the representatives that reflect their values and opinions and influence decisions via civic participation, where party competition is institutionalised and executive power controlled, and where basic civil rights and liberties are protected by an independent and impartial judiciary.
Both domains are made up of four dimensions, three of which (the Civic, Policy, and Freedom & Equality dimensions) they have in common. The Culture domain also includes an Economic dimension, and the Democracy domain a Rule of Law dimension. Within each dimension are one or more components, each underpinned by specific, observable indicators.
The framework and dataset, covering 40 Council of Europe member states, were last updated in December 2020. The IFCD currently includes close to 150 variables drawn from dozens of cross-country data sources selected for their reliability and coverage. As more data becomes available over time, additional indicators and member states may be added.
Learn more about the framework’s dimensions, components, and indicators below. For more detailed information, download the IFCD Codebook and Policy Maker’s Guidebook.