Democracy Index

Democracy Index

What is the News?

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released its annual democracy index.
  • Australia and New Zealand are the only “full democracies” in the entire Asia-Pacific region, while the United States is among those that couldn’t find its way into the top category.

About Democracy Index

  • The EIU Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories.
  • To rank the countries the EIU gives a score out of 10 for a number of categories, such as political participation and the functioning of government, then classifies each country as either full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime or authoritarian.

The Democracy Index is based on five categories:

  1. Electoral process and pluralism;
  2. Civil liberties;
  3. The functioning of government;
  4. Political participation;
  5. Political culture.

Based on their scores on 60 indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy; flawed democracy; hybrid regime; and authoritarian regime.

Performance of India

  • India is ranked at 41.
  • India is classified as a ‘flawed democracy’ according to the index.
  • India achieved a score of 7.23 on the index to maintain its position – the same it did last year.
  • This is the lowest ever score attributed to India in the index ever since its publication.
  • India ranks below the US, which was ranked 25th in the index.

What are some other flawed democracies?

  • The other ‘flawed democracies’ are the countries like Italy, France, Botswana and South Africa.

What is a Flawed democracy?

The report defines a flawed democracy as nations that “have free and fair elections and, even if there are problems (such as infringements on media freedom), basic civil liberties are respected. However, there are significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.”

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