Global State of Democracy Report

Global State of Democracy Report

News: The number of countries moving towards authoritarianism in 2020 was higher than that of countries going in the other direction, towards democracy, a/c to the Global State of Democracy (GSD) Report, 2021.

• The GSD report is released by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (InternationalIDEA). The International-IDEA, is an inter-governmental organization supporting democracy, is chaired by Australia and includes India as a member-state.The report aims to influence the global debate and analyses current trends and challenges to democracy, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
• It offers specific policy recommendations to spark new and innovative thinking for policymakers, governments and civil society organizations supporting democracy.

Highlights of the report
• The US and three members of the European Union (EU) [Hungary, Poland and Slovenia] have also seen concerning democratic declines.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.
• Democratically elected Governments, including established democracies, are increasingly adopting authoritarian tactics.This democratic backsliding has often enjoyed significant popular support.
• The report highlighted the case of Brazil and India as “some of the most worrying examples of backsliding.
• India is the backsliding democracy with the most democratic violations during the pandemic.
• Violations include- Harassment, arrests and prosecution of human rights defenders, activists, journalists, students, academics and others critical of the government or its policies; internet obstructions etc.
• The report pointed out that many democracies had proved to be resilient to the pandemic.Despite pandemic restrictions on campaigning and media, the electoral component of democracy has shown remarkable resilience.
• Countries around the world learned to hold elections in exceedingly difficult conditions and they rapidly activated special voting arrangements to allow citizens to continue exercising their democratic rights. 

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