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Latest edition of Democracy Report: 2022

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 08, Mar 2022
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The latest edition of Democracy Report was released recently by the V-Dem Institute at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg.

  • The study was titled ‘Democracy Report 2022: Autocratisation Changing Nature?’

About the report:

The report classifies countries into four regime types based on their score in the Liberal Democratic Index (LDI): Liberal Democracy, Electoral Democracy, Electoral Autocracy, and Closed Autocracy.

General Observations:

  • More than twice as many countries are undergoing Autocratisation as are witnessing democratization.
  • The level of democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen in 2021 is down to 1989 levels, with the democratic gains of the post-Cold War period eroding rapidly in the last few years.
  • Autocratisation is spreading rapidly, with a record of 33 countries autocratising.
  • The level of democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen in 2021 is down to 1989 levels.
  • While Sweden topped the LDI index, other Scandinavian countries such as Denmark and Norway, along with Costa Rica and New Zealand make up the top five in liberal democracy rankings.

India’s performance:

  • It classifies India as an electoral autocracy ranking it 93rd on the LDI, out of 179 countries.
  • India is one of the top ten ‘autocratisers’ in the world says the report.
  • India is part of a broader global trend of an anti-plural political party driving a country’s Autocratisation.
  • Ranked 93rd in the LDI, India figures in the “bottom 50%” of countries.
  • It has slipped further down in the Electoral Democracy Index, to 100, and even lower in the Deliberative Component Index, at 102.
  • In South Asia, India is ranked below Sri Lanka (88), Nepal (71), and Bhutan (65) and above Pakistan (117) in the LDI.

Reasons behind the over all situation:

One of the biggest drivers of autocratisation is “toxic polarisation”: It is a dominant trend in 40 countries, as opposed to 5 countries that showed rising polarisation in 2011.

  • Autocratisation is defined as a phenomenon that erodes respect of counter-arguments and associated aspects of the deliberative component of democracy.
  • Misinformation as a policy tool: The report identified “misinformation” as a key tool deployed by autocratising governments to sharpen polarisation and shape domestic and international opinion.
  • Repression of civil society and censorship of media: These were other favored tools of autocratising regimes.
  • Rise of political hate speeches has also impacted the situation.