The Global State of Democracy

Part of front cover report The Global State of Democracy.


The Global State of Democracy: exploring Democracy’s Resilience seeks to address the lack of analytical material on democracy building and the quality of democracy internationally, and to bridge the gap between academic research, policy development and democracy assistance initiatives. It introduces the new Global State of Democracy indices as a key evidence base to inform policy interventions and identify problem-solving approaches to trends affecting the quality of democracy.

Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile in her foreword:

“Recent media reports and public opinion polls have warned about the apparent growing threats to democracy. ey suggest, with pessimism, that democracy is in decline. ere are certainly reasons to be concerned. All countries must address complex challenges that, whether originating within or outside of their borders, have a global reach: from food scarcity to con ict, from climate change to terrorism and organized crime, and from populism to corruption. However, in my opinion, this is an incomplete overview of the problem.

It is easy to lose sight of the long-term gains the world has made in maintaining democracy. By and large, public institutions today are more representative and accountable to the needs and desires of women and men of all ages. Over the past several decades, many states have become democratic and, notwithstanding obstacles and some setbacks, most of them have maintained that status. Today, more countries hold elections than ever before. Crucially, most governments respect their international commitments to uphold fundamental rights, more individuals are able to freely cast their votes, and civil society and its leaders can mobilize and engage in dialogue with political leaders. All in all, democracy has produced a domino e ect, growing and spreading across the planet.

Governments should build on this strong foundation in order to reduce the risk of backsliding towards authoritarianism. Regrettably, in too many cases electoral results are not respected or institutions and rules are manipulated to keep leaders in power inde nitely. is prevents citizens from accessing the basic elements of freedom and equality that democracy champions.”

Download report The Global State of Democracy.