The United States has topped the list of “returning democracies” for the first time since the collapse of former President Donald Trump in the second half of his term, according to a report on world democracy to be released this Monday (22).
A quarter of the world’s population now lives in backward democracy, and if you add dictatorial or “hybrid” regimes that continue to degrade democracy since 2016, that would be about 70%, according to the International Annual Report. IDEA is headquartered in Stockholm.
Updated every year, its list of weakened democracies already includes India, Brazil, the Philippines and two EU countries: Poland and Hungary. A third European country, Slovenia, was added this year.
Alexander Hudson, AFP’s co-author of the study, said that while the United States was a “top democracy,” the 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 turnaround” in the November 2020 presidential election challenge and “the reduction of congressional inquiries into the President’s actions between 2018 and 2020”.
“We have classified the United States as ‘backward’ for the first time this year, but our data suggest that the episode of deterioration began at least in 2019,” Hudson said.
Following half a century of democratic indicators and following most countries in the world (about 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 has been demonstrated by the tendency to question credible election results, attempts to suppress participation and widespread polarization (…), which is one of the most worrying developments in democracy worldwide,” IDEA Secretary-General Kevin Casas-Zamora told AFP.
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, by 2020, the number of countries moving towards dictatorship is greater than the number of countries in the democratization phase.
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.
The provisional international IDEA score for 2021 lists 98 democracies, the lowest in many years, with 20 “hybrid” regimes including Russia, Morocco and Turkey, and 47 dictatorships, including China, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Iran.
With regressive democracies and hybrid and dictatorial regimes, “we have reached 70% of the world’s population. It shows that something serious is going on about the quality of democracy, “said Casas-Zamora.
The International IDEA has confirmed its findings since last year, according to which more than six in ten countries have implemented complex measures prior to COVID-19 to respect human rights or democratic rules because they are “illegal, unequal, unrestricted 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 previously affected by democracy and the rule of law.
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