A new report says half of the world’s democracies are in decline

(Stockholm) Half of all democracies are experiencing erosion of their political system, intensified by the war in Ukraine and the economic crisis, according to a report published Wednesday by the international think tank IDEA, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.


“We are now seeing factors that are extremely unfavorable to democracy, exacerbated by the repercussions of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine,” Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary General, told AFP. based organization.

According to him, this decline could lead, for example, to questioning the credibility of the elections, to attacks on the rule of law or even to the obstruction of civic space.

As for the democracies with the most serious democratic erosion, which the report classified as “declining” and which include the United States since last year, as well as Brazil, Hungary, Poland, India and Mauritius, it increased from six to seven in 2022 with the addition. El Salvador.

For Kevin Casas-Zamora, the case of the United States is particularly troubling.

According to the report, the country faces problems of political polarization, institutional dysfunction, and threats to civil liberties.

“It is now clear that this fever has not subsided with the election of a new government,” said Mr. Casas-Zamora.

According to him, this translates notably into uncontrollable levels of polarization and attempts to “compromise the credibility of election results without any evidence of fraud”.

He believes the United States has also taken a “clear step backward” in the area of ​​sexual and reproductive rights, “which is all the more extraordinary because most countries, […]and progress in terms of expanding sexual and reproductive rights.”

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More domineering

Of the 173 countries included in the report, 52 of the democracies counted were in decline.

In contrast, 27 countries converted to authoritarianism, more than double those that converted to democracy.

Nearly half of the authoritarian regimes also intensified their repression in 2022, with Afghanistan, Belarus, Cambodia, Comoros and Nicaragua experiencing “general decline”.

In Asia, where only 54% of the population lives in a democracy, authoritarianism is on the rise, while the African continent remains “resilient” in the face of instability, despite the large number of challenges it faces.

Ten years after the Arab Spring, the Middle East remains “the most authoritarian region in the world” and has only three democracies: Iraq, Israel and Lebanon.

In Europe, nearly half of the continent’s democracies, or 17 countries, have suffered democratic erosion over the past five years.

Democracies struggle to balance effectively in environments characterized by instability and anxiety. Populism continues to make gains around the world as innovation and growth stagnates or declines,” the report says.

He also noted “disturbing trends,” even in countries with medium or high levels of democratic standards.

Over the past five years, progress has stalled in all indicators of think tank studies, and some have returned to the same level as in the 1990s, according to the report.

“Democracies have really broken down in the last two decades, and this has become an urgent issue of our time,” says Casas-Zamora.

However, there are also signs of progress.

The report thus indicates that residents are coming together to push their government to respond to 21 demandse Century, from reproductive rights in Latin America to youth climate protests around the world.

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“But also in countries like Iran where people have taken to the streets to demand freedom, equality and dignity,” adds Casas-Zamora.

“There is a glimmer of hope, but the overall trend remains bleak.”

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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