Democracy Index 2013

By Victoria Bird|June 13, 2014|Africa, China and Inner Asia, Development Studies, Japan, Korea, Middle East, Central Asia & Islamica, Politics and International Relations, South Asia, South East Asia|0 comments

Today, the BBC have highlighted the newly published 6th edition of the Democracy Index, from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), focusing on France. The report reflects the situation, as perceived by the EIU at the end of 2013. You can download this report for free from the Economist Intelligence Unit, although you do have to register for access.

The report highlights a broader stagnation in the progress of the spread of democracy globally, and the erosion of democracy across Europe. The uncertainty of success of the spread of democratization in the Arab world is examined, as is the impact of crime and declining media freedom in all regions.

Although almost one-half of the world’s countries can be considered to be democracies, according to the report some 37% of the world live in authoritarian regimes living in 52 countries. In comparison, only 25 countries are described as “full” democracies  (11% of the world’s population). 54 countries are rated as “flawed” democracies (comprising 36% of the population) and 36 are classed as “hybrid regimes” (16% of the population).

How do some of the countries studied at SOAS stack up? North Korea comes bottom of the list, whilst in the list of “full” democracies, Japan ranks 20th, with a high rating for civil liberties, but less for political participation. South Korea is joint 21st with the Czech Republic.

The index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide, covering 165 independent states and two territories, which covers almost the entire world population.

The Democracy index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.

Access the report for free from the Economist Intelligence Unit, and see what you think of the analysis.

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