Are Democracies at threat? Analyzing the Democracy Index 2023

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The world’s (almost) eight billion people live in various political and cultural environments. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index study for this year is one such attempt to assign a score to nations based on how closely they live up to democratic principles. The annual survey, which ranks the state of democracy in 167 countries based on five criteria-electoral processes and pluralism, government functioning, political participation, democratic political culture, and civil liberties—discovers that more than a third of the world’s population is subject to authoritarian rule, while only 6.4% enjoy full democracy.

The indications are combined to give each category a 0 to 10 rating, and the five category scores are summed to get the overall index score. Full democracies are countries with a total Democracy Index score between 8.01 and 10 (out of 10). Those with a score of 6.01 to 8.00 are categorized as imperfect democracies.  According to the EIU, democracy is at its lowest since the index’s inception in 2006. This may be partly attributed to pandemic limitations that saw many governments struggle to combine public health with personal freedom. According to the 2023 assessment, Norway is the most democratic, while Afghanistan is the least.

The Global State of Democracy Report

In this year’s report, the EIU recorded a reduction in the average global score from 5.37 to 5.28, the worst dip since the global financial crisis in 2010. This translates into a depressing statistic: only 46% of the population lives in a democracy “of some sort“. The Global State of Democracy Report” arrives at a time when democracy is attacked literally and metaphorically worldwide. Beyond the lingering pandemic, today’s wars, and a coming global recession, there is the problem of climate change and all that it entails—severe weather occurrences, the required green transition, and multi-faceted ramifications for democratic government.

– Saume Saptaparna Nath is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA). Previously, she worked as an Intern at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh.

Published in The International Prism, Read Full Article [Link]