By Stefan Kalberer
Autocratization continued across the world and went “viral” in 2020: The level of democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen is down to levels last found around 1990. This is one of the main findings of this year’s report of the Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem) based at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The study also provides insights into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on democratization worldwide.
According to V-Dem, 25 states are in democratic decline. In contrast, the number of nations in democratization has fallen to 16. Only 4% of the world’s population live in these countries, whereas 34% live in countries that are drifting towards autocracy. Ten years ago, only 6% of the world’s population lived in autocratizing countries.