Global State of Democracy Report, 2021

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Global State of Democracy Report, 2021


  • The Global State of Democracy report, 2021 was released by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International-IDEA).
  • According to it, number of countries moving towards authoritarianism in 2020 was higher than that of countries going in the other direction, towards democracy.
  • While 20 countries moved in the direction of authoritarianism, seven countries moved towards democracy.

Key Highlights of the Report:

  • Increasing authoritarianism: For the fifth consecutive year, the number of countries moving in an authoritarian direction exceeds the number of countries moving in a democratic direction. In fact, the number moving in the direction of authoritarianism is three times the number moving towards democracy.
  • Impact of COVID-19: The pandemic has prolonged this existing negative trend into a five-year stretch, the longest such period since the start of the third wave of democratization in the 1970s.
  • Democratic regimes using authoritarian tactics: Democratically elected governments, including established democracies, are increasingly adopting authoritarian tactics. This democratic backsliding has often enjoyed significant popular support.
  • Backsliding: Authoritarianism is deepening in non-democratic regimes (hybrid and authoritarian regimes). This democratic backsliding has often enjoyed significant popular support. Some of the most worrying examples of backsliding are found in some of the world’s largest countries (Brazil, India).
  • Depleting Electoral integrity: Electoral integrity is increasingly being questioned, often without evidence, even in established democracies. The former US President Donald Trump’s baseless allegations during the 2020 US presidential election have had spillover effects, including in Brazil, Mexico, Myanmar and Peru, among others.

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA):

  • An intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide.
  • Founded in 1995 .
  • Headquarter- Stockholm
  • Has 33 member states currently.
  • 3 main impact areas- Electoral processes; Constitution-building processes; Political participation and representation.

Way Forward:

  • To curb rising authoritarianism and reverse this course, International IDEA calls for a global alliance for the advancement of democracy through a three-point agenda:
  • Deliver- Government institutions, in close consultation with civil society, must take the lead in recrafting social contracts. These contracts should be the result of inclusive societal deliberation that sheds light on the gaps between what people require to meet their aspirations and what governments can currently provide.
  • Rebuild- Government institutions, political parties, electoral management bodies (EMBs) and media should reform democratic institutions, processes, relationships and behaviours so that they are better able to cope with the challenges of the 21st century
  • Prevent- Government institutions and civil society and media, must prevent rising authoritarianism and democratic backsliding by investing in democracy education at all levels of schooling and by actively learning from other countries’ experiences in fighting disinformation, building democratic cultures and strengthening democratic guardrails.