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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Democracy's discontents are on the rise

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit's latest Democracy Index

 

Only 12.5% of the world’s population live in a "full democracy" according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index and less than one-half reside in a democracy of some sort. More than one-third of the world’s population (some 2.6bn people) still live under authoritarian rule.

 

Although almost half of the world's countries can be considered to be democracies, the EIU’s index classifies only 24 countries (down from 25 in 2013) as "full democracies" and 52 countries (down from 54 in 2013) are rated as "flawed democracies". Europe is home to the most "full democracies", but it is here that popular discontent with democracy is most evident. Of the remaining 91 countries covered by the index, 52 are authoritarian and 39 are "hybrid regimes".

 

The index shows that the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remains the most repressive region in the world, with 15 (up from 13 in 2013) out of 20 countries being categorised as authoritarian. Only in Tunisia, which has been upgraded from a "hybrid regime" in 2013 to a "flawed democracy" in 2014, has there been any significant recent progress in democratisation. Apart from this positive exception, the Arab Spring has given way to a wave of reaction and a descent into violent chaos.

 

Besides MENA, two other regions experienced a regression (Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa) in 2014 as signified by a decline in their regional average score. Two regions—Asia and eastern Europe—recorded a slight improvement in their average score. There was no change in the average score for North America or western Europe.

 

The striking feature of developments in 2014, according to Joan Hoey, Editor of the 2014 report, is that "Despite the fact that the world economy is growing and six years have passed since the 2008 economic and financial crash, discontent with democracy is on the rise. Popular dissatisfaction with democracy is being expressed in the growth of populist and protest parties, which, in some places, have come to pose an increasing challenge to the established political order. The tendency to dismiss the upsurge of populism in Europe as a protest vote or an anti-austerity backlash is a way of evading some uncomfortable truths about the state of democracy in Europe."

 

The US remains at the bottom end of the full democracy category. US democracy has been adversely affected by a deepening of the polarisation of the political scene, political brinkmanship and paralysis. Popular discontent with the workings of democracy is deep-seated here too.

  The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index 2014 is available free of charge at: www.eiu.com/democracy2014

   

 

 

Notes for editors

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. The index provides a snapshot of the current state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories (almost the entire population of the world). Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: “full democracies”, “flawed democracies”, “hybrid regimes” and “authoritarian regimes.”

 

The overall index of democracy, on a 0 to 10 scale, is based on the ratings for 60 indicators grouped in the five categories. The overall index is the simple average of the five category indexes. A three-point scoring system for the 60 indicators is used. The category indexes are based on the sum of the indicator scores in the category, converted to a 0 to 10 scale. Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: “full democracies” (scores of 8 to 10); “flawed democracies”—scores of 6 to 7.9; “hybrid regimes”—scores of 4 to 5.9; “authoritarian regimes”—scores below 4.

 

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) is the world's leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organisations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 195 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. More information is available at www.eiu.com. The EIU is headquartered in London, UK, with offices in more than 40 cities and a network of some 650 country experts and analysts worldwide. It operates independently as the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, the leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs.

                                                                                                                                                                              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democracy Index 2014

 

 

Rank

Overall score

Electoral process and pluralism

Functioning of government

Political participation

Political culture

Civil liberties

 

Full democracies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norway

1

9.9

10.0

9.6

10.0

10.0

10.0

 

Sweden

2

9.7

9.6

9.6

9.4

10.0

10.0

 

Iceland

3

9.6

10.0

9.3

8.9

10.0

9.7

 

New Zealand

4

9.3

10.0

9.3

8.9

8.1

10.0

 

Denmark

5

9.1

9.2

9.3

8.3

9.4

9.4

 

Switzerland

6

9.1

9.6

9.3

7.8

9.4

9.4

 

Canada

7

9.1

9.6

9.3

7.8

8.8

10.0

 

Finland

8

9.0

10.0

8.9

7.8

8.8

9.7

 

Australia

9

9.0

9.6

8.9

7.8

8.8

10.0

 

Netherlands

10

8.9

9.6

8.6

8.9

8.1

9.4

 

Luxembourg

11

8.9

10.0

9.3

6.7

8.8

9.7

 

Ireland

12

8.7

9.6

7.5

7.8

8.8

10.0

 

Germany

13

8.6

9.6

8.6

7.8

8.1

9.1

 

Austria

14

8.5

9.6

7.9

8.3

7.5

9.4

 

Malta

15

8.4

9.2

8.2

6.1

8.8

9.7

 

UK

16

8.3

9.6

7.1

6.7

8.8

9.4

 

Uruguay

17

8.2

10.0

8.9

4.4

7.5

10.0

 

Mauritius

17

8.2

9.2

8.2

5.0

8.8

9.7

 

US

19

8.1

9.2

7.5

7.2

8.1

8.5

 

Japan

20

8.1

9.2

8.2

6.1

7.5

9.4

 

South Korea

21

8.1

9.2

7.9

7.2

7.5

8.5

 

Spain

22

8.1

9.6

7.1

7.2

6.9

9.4

 

France

23

8.0

9.6

7.1

7.8

6.9

8.8

 

Costa Rica

24

8.0

9.6

7.9

6.1

6.9

9.7

 

 

Flawed democracies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Czech Republic

25

7.9

9.6

7.1

6.7

6.9

9.4

 

Belgium

26

7.9

9.6

8.2

5.6

6.9

9.4

 

India

27

7.9

9.6

7.1

7.2

6.3

9.4

 

Botswana

28

7.9

9.2

7.1

6.1

7.5

9.4

 

Italy

29

7.9

9.6

6.4

7.2

7.5

8.5

 

South Africa

30

7.8

8.3

8.2

7.8

6.3

8.5

 

Cape Verde

31

7.8

9.2

7.9

6.7

6.3

9.1

 

Chile

32

7.8

9.6

8.9

3.9

6.9

9.7

 

Portugal

33

7.8

9.6

6.4

6.7

6.9

9.4

 

Estonia

34

7.7

9.6

7.9

5.6

6.9

8.8

 

Taiwan

35

7.7

9.6

7.5

6.1

5.6

9.4

 

Israel

36

7.6

8.8

7.1

8.9

7.5

5.9

 

Slovenia

37

7.6

9.6

7.1

6.7

5.6

8.8

 

Lithuania

38

7.5

9.6

6.1

6.1

6.3

9.7

 

Latvia

39

7.5

9.6

5.7

6.1

6.9

9.1

 

Poland

40

7.5

9.6

5.7

6.7

6.3

9.1

 

Greece

41

7.5

9.6

5.4

6.7

6.3

9.4

 

Cyprus

42

7.4

9.2

6.4

6.7

5.6

9.1

 

Jamaica

43

7.4

9.2

6.8

5.0

6.9

9.1

 

Brazil

44

7.4

9.6

7.5

4.4

6.3

9.1

 

Slovakia

45

7.4

9.6

7.5

5.6

5.0

9.1

 

Timor-Leste

46

7.2

8.7

7.1

5.6

6.9

7.9

 

Panama

47

7.1

9.6

6.4

5.6

5.0

8.8

 

Trinidad and Tobago

48

7.0

9.6

7.1

5.0

5.0

8.2

 

Indonesia

49

7.0

7.3

7.1

6.7

6.3

7.4

 

Croatia

50

6.9

9.2

6.1

5.6

5.6

8.2

 

Hungary

51

6.9

9.2

6.1

4.4

6.9

7.9

 

Argentina

52

6.8

8.8

5.7

5.6

6.3

7.9

 

Suriname

53

6.8

9.2

6.4

5.0

5.0

8.2

 

Philippines

53

6.8

8.3

5.4

6.7

4.4

9.1

 

Bulgaria

55

6.7

9.2

5.7

5.6

5.0

8.2

 

Serbia

56

6.7

9.2

5.4

6.7

5.0

7.4

 

Romania

57

6.7

9.2

5.7

5.0

5.0

8.5

 

Mexico

57

6.7

8.3

6.1

6.7

5.0

7.4

 

Dominican Republic

59

6.7

8.8

5.7

5.0

6.3

7.7

 

Lesotho

60

6.7

8.3

5.7

6.7

5.6

7.1

 

Mongolia

61

6.6

9.2

5.7

5.0

5.0

8.2

 

Colombia

62

6.6

9.2

7.1

3.9

3.8

8.8

 

Peru

63

6.5

9.2

5.0

5.0

5.0

8.5

 

El Salvador

64

6.5

9.2

6.1

3.9

5.0

8.5

 

Malaysia

65

6.5

6.9

7.9

5.6

6.3

5.9

 

Hong Kong

66

6.5

4.8

5.7

5.6

6.9

9.4

 

Zambia

67

6.4

7.9

5.4

4.4

6.9

7.4

 

Ghana

68

6.3

8.3

5.4

5.6

5.6

6.8

 

Moldova

69

6.3

8.8

5.0

5.6

4.4

7.9

 

Tunisia

70

6.3

7.0

6.1

7.2

6.3

5.0

 

Paraguay

71

6.3

8.3

5.4

5.0

4.4

8.2

 

Macedonia

72

6.3

7.8

5.4

6.1

4.4

7.7

 

Namibia

73

6.2

5.7

5.0

6.7

5.6

8.2

 

Senegal

74

6.2

7.9

5.7

4.4

5.6

7.1

 

Papua New Guinea

75

6.0

6.9

6.1

3.9

5.6

7.7

 

Singapore

75

6.0

4.3

7.5

5.0

6.3

7.1

 

Hybrid regimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Montenegro

77

5.9

7.9

5.4

5.0

4.4

7.1

 

Guyana

78

5.9

7.9

4.6

5.6

4.4

7.1

 

Ecuador

79

5.9

8.3

4.6

5.0

4.4

7.1

 

Honduras

80

5.8

8.8

5.7

3.9

4.4

6.5

 

Georgia

81

5.8

8.7

4.6

5.6

4.4

5.9

 

Guatemala

82

5.8

7.9

6.1

3.3

4.4

7.4

 

Bolivia

83

5.8

7.0

5.0

5.6

3.8

7.7

 

Mali

83

5.8

7.8

3.9

4.4

6.3

6.5

 

Bangladesh

85

5.8

7.4

5.1

5.0

4.4

7.1

 

Tanzania

86

5.8

7.4

4.6

5.6

5.6

5.6

 

Sri Lanka

87

5.7

6.2

5.4

4.4

6.9

5.6

 

Albania

88

5.7

7.0

4.0

5.0

5.0

7.4

 

Malawi

89

5.7

6.6

4.3

5.0

6.3

6.2

 

Benin

90

5.7

6.9

5.4

4.4

5.6

5.9

 

Fiji

91

5.6

4.2

5.7

6.7

5.6

5.9

 

Ukraine

92

5.4

5.8

3.9

5.6

5.0

6.8

 

Thailand

93

5.4

5.3

4.3

5.6

5.0

6.8

 

Nicaragua

94

5.3

6.2

3.3

4.4

5.6

7.1

 

Kyrgyz Republic

95

5.2

6.6

3.3

6.7

4.4

5.3

 

Uganda

96

5.2

5.7

3.6

4.4

6.3

6.2

 

Kenya

97

5.1

4.3

4.3

6.1

5.6

5.3

 

Turkey

98

5.1

6.7

5.4

4.4

5.6

3.5

 

Lebanon

98

5.1

5.7

2.1

7.2

5.0

5.6

 

Venezuela

100

5.1

5.3

4.3

5.6

4.4

5.9

 

Liberia

101

5.0

7.8

0.8

5.6

5.0

5.6

 

Bhutan

102

4.9

8.3

5.4

2.8

4.4

3.5

 

Bosnia and Hercegovina

103

4.8

6.5

2.9

3.3

4.4

6.8

 

Cambodia

103

4.8

4.4

6.4

3.3

5.6

4.1

 

Nepal

105

4.8

3.9

4.3

4.4

5.6

5.6

 

Palestine

106

4.7

4.8

2.9

7.8

4.4

3.8

 

Mozambique

107

4.7

4.4

3.6

5.6

5.6

4.1

 

Pakistan

108

4.6

6.0

5.4

2.8

3.8

5.3

 

Sierra Leone

109

4.6

7.0

1.5

2.8

6.3

5.3

 

Madagascar

110

4.4

4.3

2.5

5.0

5.6

4.7

 

Iraq

111

4.2

4.3

0.8

7.2

4.4

4.4

 

Mauritania

112

4.2

3.4

4.3

5.0

3.1

5.0

 

Armenia

113

4.1

4.3

2.9

4.4

3.1

5.9

 

Burkina Faso

114

4.1

4.8

2.9

3.3

5.0

4.4

 

Niger

115

4.0

7.1

1.1

2.8

4.4

4.7

 

Authoritarian regimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco

116

4.0

3.5

4.3

2.8

5.0

4.4

 

Algeria

117

3.8

3.0

2.2

3.9

5.6

4.4

 

Haiti

118

3.8

4.8

2.2

2.2

3.1

6.8

 

Libya

119

3.8

2.3

2.5

3.3

5.6

5.3

 

Kuwait

120

3.8

3.2

3.9

3.9

4.4

3.5

 

Jordan

121

3.8

3.2

3.9

4.4

3.8

3.5

 

Gabon

121

3.8

3.0

2.2

4.4

5.0

4.1

 

Nigeria

121

3.8

5.7

2.9

3.3

3.1

3.8

 

Ethiopia

124

3.7

0.0

3.6

5.6

5.6

3.8

 

Belarus

125

3.7

1.8

3.9

3.9

6.3

2.7

 

Côte d'Ivoire

126

3.5

0.0

3.2

5.0

5.6

3.8

 

Cuba

127

3.5

1.8

4.6

3.9

4.4

2.9

 

Comoros

127

3.5

3.9

2.2

3.9

3.8

3.8

 

Togo

129

3.5

4.0

0.8

3.3

5.0

4.1

 

Vietnam

130

3.4

0.0

3.9

3.9

6.9

2.4

 

Cameroon

130

3.4

0.8

3.6

3.9

5.0

3.8

 

Russia

132

3.4

3.1

2.9

5.0

2.5

3.5

 

Angola

133

3.4

0.9

3.2

5.0

4.4

3.2

 

Burundi

134

3.3

2.6

2.2

3.9

5.0

2.9

 

Rwanda

135

3.3

0.8

5.0

2.2

4.4

3.8

 

Qatar

136

3.2

0.0

3.9

2.2

5.6

4.1

 

Kazakhstan

137

3.2

0.5

2.1

4.4

4.4

4.4

 

Egypt

138

3.2

2.2

2.9

5.0

3.1

2.7

 

Oman

139

3.2

0.0

3.9

3.3

4.4

4.1

 

Swaziland

140

3.1

0.9

2.9

2.2

5.6

3.8

 

Myanmar

141

3.1

1.9

2.9

2.8

5.6

2.1

 

Gambia

141

3.1

1.8

3.9

2.2

5.0

2.4

 

Guinea

143

3.0

3.5

0.4

4.4

3.8

2.9

 

China

144

3.0

0.0

4.6

3.9

5.0

1.5

 

Djibouti

145

3.0

0.8

2.5

3.3

5.6

2.7

 

Congo (Brazzaville)

146

2.9

1.3

2.9

3.3

3.8

3.2

 

Bahrain

147

2.9

1.3

3.6

2.8

4.4

2.4

 

Azerbaijan

148

2.8

0.5

2.1

3.3

3.8

4.4

 

Yemen

149

2.8

1.3

1.4

5.0

5.0

1.2

 

Zimbabwe

150

2.8

0.5

1.3

3.9

5.0

3.2

 

Afghanistan

151

2.8

2.5

1.1

3.9

2.5

3.8

 

United Arab Emirates

152

2.6

0.0

3.6

1.7

5.0

2.9

 

Sudan

153

2.5

0.0

1.8

4.4

5.0

1.5

 

Uzbekistan

154

2.5

0.1

2.6

2.8

6.3

0.6

 

Eritrea

155

2.4

0.0

2.5

1.7

6.9

1.2

 

Tajikistan

156

2.4

1.8

0.1

2.2

6.3

1.5

 

Laos

157

2.2

0.0

3.2

1.7

5.0

1.2

 

Iran

158

2.0

0.0

2.9

2.8

2.5

1.8

 

Guinea-Bissau

159

1.9

1.7

0.0

2.8

3.1

2.1

 

Turkmenistan

160

1.8

0.0

0.8

2.8

5.0

0.6

 

Saudi Arabia

161

1.8

0.0

2.9

1.7

3.1

1.5

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

162

1.8

0.9

0.7

2.2

3.1

1.8

 

Syria

163

1.7

0.0

0.4

3.3

5.0

0.0

 

Equatorial Guinea

164

1.7

0.0

0.8

1.7

4.4

1.5

 

Chad

165

1.5

0.0

0.0

1.1

3.8

2.7

 

Central African Republic

166

1.5

0.9

0.0

1.7

2.5

2.4

 

North Korea

167

1.1

0.0

2.5

1.7

1.3

0.0

 

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit.

 

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