The Asian Democracy Index is a framework to compare and discover democratic characteristics of Asian countries. It is designed to understand the quality of Asian democracy of today, and thereby identify characteristics of democratization and democracy in Asia. The ADI was developed to present the current democratic status of Asian countries, not to propose an exemplary democratic model or to rank different democratic characteristics of the countries.
In order to overcome the limitations of existing democracy indices and to objectively evaluate the "quality" of democracy that each country has implemented, we believe that we need to develop a new perspective, and thus define the perspective as a "post-monopoly democratic theory." This perspective views democracy as a continuing process of breaking away from power and resource monopolies, and democratization as dissolution of monopoly complexes.
The ADI is founded on the theoretical perspective in which liberalization and equalization serve as its core principles as barometers to evaluate three analysis fields: politics, economy and civil society. When the two principles and three fields cross each other, six different units are generated. Each unit has unique characteristics while showing limitations and potentials of other units. The ADI consists of 57 evaluation indicators. In order to guarantee the objectivity
of each indicator, supplementary subjective and objective indicators are provided for each indicator.
The ADI was developed and analyzed in two different ways. One is an evaluation index survey of experts. The expert survey was conducted through a questionnaire of 57 questions, and answered by three different expert groups with different ideologies. Then, each index was examined for its utilization. This examination was undertaken by our survey representatives in each country. Each local representative drafts a report on the country's democracy based on the evaluation index
survey and existing index surveys. This survey and evaluation methods reflect unique characteristics of each country and help overcome the subjective nature of evaluation indices.