General Studies IIConstitution

Global State of Democracy Report 2021


The number of countries moving towards authoritarianism in 2020 was higher than that of countries going in the other direction, towards democracy, the Global State of Democracy Report, 2021 released by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International-IDEA) recently said.

Key Highlights of Global State of Democracy Report:

  • Increasing authoritarianism: The Global State of Democracy Report, 2021 finds that more countries are moving towards authoritarianism than democracy in 2020.

  • Global State of Democracy Report found that while 20 countries moved in the direction of authoritarianism, seven countries moved towards democracy in 2020.
  • Globally, more than one in four people live in a backsliding democracy, a proportion that rises to more than two in three with the addition of authoritarian or “hybrid” regimes.
  • COVID-19 Impact: Global State of Democracy Report 2021 said that the covid 19 pandemic has prolonged this existing negative trend into a five-year stretch.

  • It is the longest such period since the start of the third wave of democratization in the 1970s.
  • Global State of Democracy Report states that the year 2020 was the worst on record, in terms of the number of countries affected by deepening autocratization.
  • Global State of Democracy Report 2021 found that the pandemic has had a particularly damaging effect on non-democratic countries, further closing their already reduced civic space.
  • Democratic regimes using authoritarian tactics: Global State of Democracy Report 2021 found that Democratically elected Governments, including established democracies, are increasingly adopting authoritarian tactics.

  • Global State of Democracy Report 2021 says that this democratic backsliding has often enjoyed significant popular support.
  • Global State of Democracy Report 2021 highlighted the case of Brazil and India as some of the most worrying examples of backsliding.
  • The U.S included in “backsliding” democracies: The United States and three members of the European Union [Hungary, Poland and Slovenia] have also seen concerning democratic declines.
  • The US has been added to an annual list of “backsliding” democracies for the first time pointing to a “visible deterioration”.

About report:

  • The report aims to influence the global debate and analyses current trends and challenges to democracy, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • It offers specific policy recommendations to spark new and innovative thinking for policymakers, governments and civil society organizations supporting democracy.
  • It is released by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International-IDEA).

About International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance:

  • International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide.
  • It was founded in 1995 and currently has 33 member states.
  • International IDEA advances democracy worldwide, as a universal human aspiration and an enabler of sustainable development, through support to the building, strengthening and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and processes at all levels.

Major Suggestions:

  • New Social Contract: There is a need to deliver on political or civic reforms or develop a new social contract that closes the gap between what people want and what governments currently deliver.
    • This can be done by designing responsive, inclusive, accountable, and transparent institutions oriented towards achieving sustainable development.
  • Strengthening Institutions: Rebuilding existing institutions by updating practices in established democracies, building democratic capacity in new democracies, and protecting electoral integrity, fundamental freedoms and rights, and the checks and balances essential to thriving democratic systems.
  • Strengthening Civil Society: Preventing the rising authoritarianism and democratic backsliding can be done by investing in education and by supporting independent civil society, combatting disinformation and supporting free and independent media that facilitates the growth of democratic cultures, values and practice.

Source: The Hindu

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