Democracy Report 2023: Defiance in the Face of Autocratization

New report by Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem): “.. the largest global dataset on democracy with over 31 million data points for 202 countries from 1789 to 2022. Involving almost 4,000 scholars and other country experts, V-Dem measures hundreds of different attributes of democracy. V-Dem enables new ways to study the nature, causes, and consequences of democracy embracing its multiple meanings. THE FIRST SECTION of the report shows global levels of democ- racy sliding back and advances made over the past 35 years diminishing. Most of the drastic changes have taken place within the last ten years, while there are large regional variations in relation to the levels of democracy people experience. The second section offers analyses on the geographies and population sizes of democratizing and autocratizing countries. In the third section we focus on the countries undergoing autocratization, and on the indicators deteriorating the most, including in relation to media censorship, repression of civil society organizations, and academic freedom. While disinformation, polarization, and autocratization reinforce each other, democracies reduce the spread of disinformation. This is a sign of hope, of better times ahead. And this is precisely the message carried forward in the fourth section, where we switch our focus to examples of countries that managed to push back and where democracy resurfaces again. Scattered over the world, these success stories share common elements that may bear implications for international democracy support and protection efforts. The final section of this year’s report offers a new perspective on shifting global balances of economic and trade power as a result of autocratization…(More)”.