Democracy Index 2020 : V-Dem | UPSC

Democracy Index 2020 : V-Dem | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Erosion of Democracy : Democracy Report 2020

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • The report criticises – India is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy .
  • India holds 90th position in the democratic countries list. Denmark stands on top.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Reports

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS this is an important report . Go through the new definitions you come across and note down the meaning and factual merit information.

For MAINS it is important to understand the totalitarian or autocratic state . How they progress ? What is the the current status of democracy throughout the globe ? Let us dive in !

      ISSUE: 

Almost 35% of the world’s population live in autocratizing nations – 2.6 billion people.

OVERVIEW

  • V-Dem is a unique approach to measuring democracy – historical, multidimensional, nuanced, and disaggregated – employing state-of-the-art methodology

TITLE

  • State of the World 2020: Autocratization Surges – Resistance Grows

PUBLISHED BY

  • V-Dem Institute , Sweden.

HIGHLIGHTS

Autocratization – the decline of democratic traits – accelerates in the world: for the first time since 2001, autocracies are in the majority: 92 countries.

  • Hungary is now classed as an electoral authoritarian regime.
  • Major G20 nations and all regions of the world are part of the “third wave of autocratization”.

Democracy Index 2020 : V-Dem | UPSC COUNTRIES SUBSTANTIALLY DEMOCRATIZING OR AUTOCRATIZING, 2009–2019|SOURCES : V-DEM REPORT 2020

  • Autocratization is affecting Brazil, India, the United States of America, and Turkey.
  • Latin America is back to a level last recorded in the early 1990s while Eastern Europe and Central Asia are at post-Soviet Union lows.

India is on the verge of losing its status as a democracy due to the severely shrinking of space for the media, civil society, and the opposition under the central leadership.
 

  • Pro-democracy resistance grows from 27% in 2009 to 44% in 2019 amidst the autocratization surge.
  • During 2019, citizens in 29 democracies mobilized against autocratization, such as in Bolivia, Poland, and Malawi.
  • Citizens staged mass protests in 34 autocracies, among them Algeria, Hong Kong, and Sudan.
  • Citizens are taking to the streets in order to defend civil liberties and the rule of law, and to fight for clean elections and political freedom.
  • The unprecedented degree of mobilization for democracy in light of deepening autocratization is a sign of hope.

In several cases such as in Sudan, citizens successfully achieved breakthroughs for freedom and democracy

  • In 22 countries, pro-democracy mass protests have been followed by substantial democratization during the last ten years.
  • Ecuador shows that while autocratization can be turned around, it is difficult to return to a stable democracy.

REPORT ANALYSIS

AUTOCRATIZATION SURGES – RESISTANCE GROWS

  • Democracy Report 2020 issues an autocratization alert.
  • The “third wave of autocratization” is accelerating and deepening.
  • Democracy declined in 26 countries during 2019, up from 18 in 2017.

For the first time since 2001, democracies are no longer in the majority.

  • Down from 55% (98 states) at its peak in 2010 to 48% of the countries in the world as of 2019.
  • The world is now left with 87 electoral and liberal democracies, which are home to 46% of the world’s population.
  • The dramatic loss of eight democracies in the last year sets a new record in the rate of democratic breakdowns.

Democracy Index 2020 : V-Dem | UPSC

SOURCES : DEMOCRACY INDEX 2020 : V-DEM | UPSC

  • There are 22 countries showing positive development over the last ten years but almost all of them have fairly small populations.Ex:Gambia , Armenia

By contrast with the autocratizing countries below the line: Brazil, India, Poland, Ukraine, the United States of America, and Turkey. 

AUTOCRATIZATION AFFECTING MORE PEOPLE THAN EVER

  • Almost 35% of the world’s population lives in autocratizing nations – 2.6 billion people.
  • Only 8% live under regimes that are becoming more democratic.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia is worst affected by autocratization: eight countries recorded significant regression over the last ten years.

  • Turkey lost its status as a democracy in 2014 and has since descended into the bottom 20% in the world on the Liberal Democracy Index.
  • The United States of America is the only country in Western Europe and North America suffering from substantial autocratization.

Democracy Index 2020 : V-Dem | UPSC

POPULATION VS AUTOCRATIZATION | SOURCES : V-DEM REPORT 2020

THE MAIN AUTOCRATIZING COUNTRIES

  • The countries that have autocratized the most over the last 10 years are Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil and India.

The autocratizing governments in these countries first restricted the scope for media and civil society.

  • Once they had gained sufficient control over the “watchdogs” in the media and civil society, they dared to begin eroding the quality of elections.
  • The developments in Poland, Brazil and India suggest that the first steps of autocratization involve eliminating media freedom and curtailing civil society.

Democracy Report 2020

SOURCES : DEMOCRACY INDEX 2020 : V-DEM | UPSC

ATTACKS ON THE MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION INTENSIFY

  • Attacks on freedom of expression and media freedom are intensifying and are now substantially worse in 31 nations compared to 19 two years ago.

A disturbing new trend: scores on the Clean Elections Index fell significantly in 16 countries while improving in only 12 countries.

  • Media censorship and the repression of civil society worsened in a record 37 countries – eleven more than the 26 countries currently affected by severe autocratization.
  • Since these indicators are typically the first to move in a gradual process of autocratization, this development is an early warning signal for what might be yet to come.

AVERAGE REGIONAL CHANGE IN KEY DEMOCRACY ASPECTS, 2009–2019

  • New V-Dem indicators on Civic and Academic Space show that autocratization taints the whole society.

Academic freedom has registered a conspicuous average decline of 13% in autocratizing countries over the last 10 years. 

[wc_highlight color=”yellow” class=””]ALSO READ : ACADEMIC FREEDOM INDEX  [/wc_highlight]

  • The right to peaceful assembly and protest has declined 14% on average in autocratizing countries.
  • Toxic polarization, pro-autocratic mass protests and political violence has risen in autocratizing countries such as Brazil and Poland.

PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTS RISE TO ALL-TIME HIGH

  • New V-Dem data on acts of pro-democracy mass mobilization show that they reached an all-time high in 2019.
  • The share of countries with substantial pro-democracy mass protests surged from 27% in 2009 to 44% in 2019.

Citizens take to the streets in order to defend civil liberties, the rule of law and fight for clean elections and political freedom.

  • The unprecedented degree of mobilization for democracy in light of deepening autocratization is a sign of hope.

V-dem Report civil and academic sapce

CIVIC AND ACADEMIC SPACE, AVERAGE CHANGE, 2009–2019

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

DEMOCRATIZATION CONTINUES TO PROGRESS AROUND THE WORLD

  • In many cases, such as Sudan, pro-democracy protestors were successful and achieved breakthroughs for freedom and democracy.

Top Democracy report

SOURCES : DEMOCRACY INDEX 2020 : V-DEM | UPSC

  • In 22 countries, pro-democracy mass protests have contributed to substantial democratization during the last 10 years.

Armenia, The Gambia, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia are cases exhibiting the biggest democratic gains.

  • Ecuador shows that autocratization can be turned around, and that it is difficult to return to a stable democracy.
SUGGESTED READING : DOWNLOAD REPORT 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | Democracy Index 2020 : V-Dem | UPSC

 

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