Democracy Index 2017: new report provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide

Author: The Economist (USA), Published on: 31 January 2018

"Democracy Index 2017: Free speech under attack", 31 January 2018

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide for 165 independent states and two territories...[It] is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture...A special focus of this year’s report is the state of media freedom around the world and the challenges facing freedom of speech...[W]e present our Media Freedom Index and global ranking...In the 2017 Democracy Index the average global score fell from 5.52 in 2016 to 5.48...The average regional score for North America (Canada and the US) remained the same. All the other six regions experienced a regression, as signified by a decline in their regional average score. In a reversal of recent trends, Asia and Australasia was the worst-performing region in 2017... Larry Diamond, one of the world’s leading democracy scholars, says that we have been going through a “democracy recession”, and this trend of stagnation and/or regression has been reflected in our annual Democracy Index since its launch in 2006...The star performer in this year’s Democracy The Gambia, which was upgraded from an “authoritarian regime” to a “hybrid regime”.

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