The Demise of World Democracies

In every region of the world, democracy is under attack by populist leaders and groups that reject pluralism and demand unchecked power to advance the particular interests of their supporters. According to studies conducted by Freedom House, "The struggle for democracy may be approaching a turning point. The gap between the number of countries that registered overall improve-ments in political rights and civil liberties and those that registered overall declines for 2022 was the narrowest it has ever been through 17 years of global deterioration." They also found that "infringement on freedom of expression has long been a key driver of global democratic decline."



Case for Democracy Report

According to V-Dem’s 2023 Democracy Report, 72% of the global population now lives in autocracies. This is a historical record, resulting from many populous countries previously set on a democratizing trajectory backsliding into autocracy.

At the same time, countries like China are promoting autocracy as a better governance model to achieve human and economic development and tackle complex issues such as climate change. Using scientific methods and data analysis, V-Dem has compiled evidence that demonstrates that democracies outperform autocracies.

Findings from V-Dem’s Case for Democracy Report, indicate that democratization leads to more economic growth, increases social protection spending, and lowers the risk of civil conflicts.

Democracies are also performing better than autocracies when it comes to committing to and delivering policy on climate change mitigation. These findings provide important elements to strengthen the case for democracy around the world.

[ Full Report ]

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