Student Research Project from Appendix C in
Party Systems and Country Governance
by Kenneth Janda with Jin-Young Kwak
Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2011
Paintings of Ambrogio Lorenzetti as visual representations of good government and bad government.

Party Systems and Country Governance studies the effects of country size, wealth, and characteristics of its party system on each of the six Worldwide Governance Indicators for 212 countries in 2007. As detailed in the book, multiple regression analysis shows that country size, wealth, and party system traits explain over one-half to more than two-thirds of the variation in the WGI measures.

Some countries perform much better than predicted by the regression analyses, while others perform much worse. That is, some are overachievers in governance while others are underachievers. This student research project (described in Appendix C) asks you to probe beyond the statistical formulas in the book to explain why some countries govern better (or worse) than expected. The table below lists 21 regions of the world as determined by the United Nations. Clicking on a region will take you to a graph showing how the countries scored on regression equation 9.1 (page 143) that predicts to Rule of Law according country size, wealth, and the competitiveness of its party system.

Mean regression predictions and deviations for all 21 World Regions

Western Africa


Central America

Eastern Africa

Southern Asia


Middle Africa

Central Asia

North America

Northern Africa

Southeastern Asia

Eastern Europe

Southern Africa

Eastern Asia

Southern Europe

Australia, New Zealand, Melanesia

Western Asia & Middle East

Northern Europe


South America

Western Europe

The graphs also shows how much each country deviated above or below the predicted score from the regression equation. Select two countries in the same region.  One should be an overachiever and one an underachiever.  Conduct research to explain why one did better than expected and one poorer.  Perhaps the explanation lies in ethnic divisions, the effects of war or peace, good versus bad leadership, or so on. Follow your instructor's instructions in writing a short paper explaining your results. Go here for guidelines about the project.

You can download a 212 page PDF (one page for each country) that tells how each party system and country is scored on the variables in the book. Alternatively, you can download an Excel file (.xls) with the data in spreadsheet form. The PDF file is easier to read.