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International Day of Democracy: The State Around the World

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The International Day of Democracy was first marked on 15 September 2008. The day is meant to acknowledge the importance of democracy, the challenges it faces, and what individual countries are doing to uphold it. 

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Democracy is regarded as the fairest way of leadership, as people can decide the direction of their countries through elected leadership. Let’s look at the state of democracy in the world.

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Global Democracy Index

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2022 report states that the world has become less democratic. Regarding numbers, 8% of the world lives in full democracies. 

This represents 24 countries, with the Nordic nations topping the chats. 37.3% of the world lives in flawed democracies, 17.9% are in hybrid and 36.9% are in dictatorship regimes. 

The report indicates that the state of democracy has declined due to COVID-19 measures and various wars around the world. This has seen the global average shrink from 5.52 to 5.29 out of the ranking score of 10.

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How Does the EIU Arrive at The Numbers?

The report evaluates five elements. It scores each out of 10.

  • Political culture
  • How well the government functions
  • Electoral process and pluralism
  • Political participation
  • Civil liberties

The Outlook of Democracies in Different Regions of the World

Africa

The only country in Africa that’s living under a full democracy is Mauritius. It got an average score of 8.14 out of 10. Outside of that, only 12% of African nations have some form of democracy. Here’s a look at the top 10 nations in the continent and their democracy ranking.

1Mauritius8.14
2Botswana7.81
3Cape Verde7.67
4Namibia7.20
5Ghana6.95
6Senegal6.88
7South Africa6.83
8Tunisia6.67
9Kenya6.55
10Madagascar5.70

Table Courtesy of Business Insider Africa

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Europe

Europe has the largest number of democracies. The United Kingdom, Germany, Luxembourg, France, and Spain enjoy full democracy. The Scandinavian countries rank highest, with scores of over 9.0.  

Russia and Belarus rank the lowest on the democracy index. Russia has violated international law by invading Ukraine and its former annexation of Crimea. Its actions have been widely condemned, but the Russian government hasn’t shown any signs of ending the war. 

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East Asia & Oceania

Whilst regions like China and North Korea are yet to embrace democracy, Japan and South Korea are full democracies. 

In the Oceania region, Australia and New Zealand are full democracies. The latter was a world leader in handling the COVID-19 crisis with its former leader Jacinda Adern receiving world recognition.

Middle East

Israel is the only country in the Middle East that enjoys some form of democracy No other country in the region has attained full democracy. They only have hybrid or authoritarian regimes. Afghanistan is the lowest ranked, with a rating of 0.32. Continuous wars and political instability hold back the Middle East. 

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The Americas

Canada, Costa Rica, and Uruguay are the only full democracies in the Americas, with a score of 8.8, 8.2 and 8.91, respectively. This shows that they promote the ethos of democracy.

The United States of America has a score of 7.85, meaning it’s a flawed democracy. According to the report, political and cultural polarization are the most significant factors in their status.

Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela are authoritarian states. With a score of below 2, these regions are rife with corruption and crime.

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Which country do you live in, and what are your thoughts about democracy? To understand more about this topic, check out these books on Amazon.

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