13 January 2010

Trend: Number of electoral democracies declined

Freedom House yesterday released its "Freedom in the World 2010" survey results.

According to the press release, "the number of electoral democracies declined [in 2009] to the lowest level since 1995. [...] Africa suffered the most significant declines, and four countries experienced coups. [...] The number of electoral democracies dropped by three and stands at 116. Developments in four countries – Honduras, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Niger – disqualified them from the electoral democracy list, while conditions in the Maldives improved enough for it to be added."

In an overview essay, "Freedom in the World 2010: Erosion of Freedom Intensifies", the author, Arch Puddington, Director of Research at Freedom House, writes: "Coups have been a rare phenomenon in the last two decades. During 2009, however, a number of countries experienced what amounted to coups. In Guinea, a classic military takeover that began at the end of 2008 took hold during the year, while in Honduras, Niger, and Madagascar, extraconstitutional mechanisms were used to remove or extend the rule of sitting leaders. [...]

"According to a survey published by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press on December 3, 2009, for the first time since World War II, a plurality of Americans (49 percent) believe the United States should 'mind its own business and let other countries get along the best they can.' The steepest specific change in general public attitudes surveyed is the decline in interest in 'spreading democracy around the world,' from 44 percent just after the 2001 terrorist attacks to a mere 10 percent today. [...]

"[A] 'freedom recession' and an authoritarian resurgence have clearly emerged as global trends".

Details are to be found here:


Don't expect any objectivity, though. Freedom House is an organization that advocates democracy around the world.

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