“Democracy is at risk,” the report’s introduction begins. “Its survival is endangered by a perfect storm of threats, both from within and from a rising tide of authoritarianism.” The pandemic has preyed more on weaker democracies and fragile states while political systems with strong rule of law and separation of powers have proved more resilient.
“The world is becoming more authoritarian as nondemocratic regimes become even more brazen in their repression and many democratic governments suffer from backsliding by adopting their tactics of restricting free speech and weakening the rule of law.”
Why should we be concerned? Some of the most worrying examples of backsliding are found in some of the world’s largest countries (Brazil, India). The United States and three members of the European Union (Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia, which holds the chair of the EU in 2021) have also seen concerning democratic declines.
Here we can only scratch the surface of critical topics on voting, democracy, and civic engagement. The fact that the United States is included together with Brazil, India, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia is a warning sign not to be ignored.
Source: International IDEAS www.idea.int.