A quarter of the world’s population now lives in backward democracy, and with a continuing trend of democratic degeneration since 2016, the International ITEA’s annual report estimates that it would be about 70% if dictatorial or “hybrid” regimes were added. Organization, headquartered in Stockholm.
Updated every year, its list of declining democracies already includes India, Brazil, the Philippines and two EU countries: Poland and Hungary. A third European country, Slovenia, was added this year.
AFP Alexander Hudson, one of the co-authors of the study, said that while the United States was a “top democracy,” the US recession was linked to a reduction in the country’s indicators of “civil rights and government control.”
International Idea specifically cites Donald Trump’s “historic turning point” in the November 2020 presidential election challenge and “the reduction of congressional inquiries into the President’s action between 2018 and 2020”.
“We have classified the United States as ‘backward’ for the first time this year, but in our data, the degeneration chapter began at least in 2019,” says Hudson.
Including half a century of democratic indicators and tracking most countries in the world (approximately 160), the International IDEA classifies them into three categories: democracy (among them “democracy in retreat”), “hybrid” regimes and dictatorial regimes.
“The visible deterioration of democracy in the United States, the tendency to question credible election results, the attempts to suppress participation and the widespread polarization (…) have demonstrated that this is one of the most worrying advances in democracy globally,” said Kevin Casas-Zamora, secretary general of International Idea.
The number of countries considered to be democratically backward has more than doubled in seven to seven in a decade.
Two countries on the list last year – Ukraine and northern Macedonia – withdrew as the situation improved. The other two, Mali and Serbia, were excluded because they were not considered democratic.
For the fifth year in a row, in 2020, the number of countries moving towards dictatorship is greater than the number of countries subject to democratization.
The situation is unprecedented since the company started collecting data in the 1970s and this should continue until 2021.
– Myanmar, Afghanistan, Mali –
Myanmar will move from the level of democracy to dictatorship, while Afghanistan and Mali will move from the level of mixed rule to dictatorship.
Zambia, now classified as democratic, is the only country that has changed its rankings positively this year.
By 2021, the provisional international IDEA score will record 98 democracies, the lowest in many years, with 20 “hybrid” regimes including Russia, Morocco and Turkey, and 47 dictatorships, including China, Saudi Arabia, and Ethiopia.
Reuniting democracies and hybrid and dictatorial regimes, Casas-Zamora said, “You have reached 70% of the world’s population.
The International IDEA confirmed its findings last year that more than six in ten countries have implemented complex measures to respect human rights or democratic norms prior to Covid-19 because they are “illegal, disproportionate, indefinite or excessive”.
More than nine out of ten dictatorial regimes are involved, but more than 40% of democracies are involved.
According to Casas-Zamora, “the epidemic has clearly accelerated some negative trends, especially in countries affected by democracy and the rule of law.”
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