05 March 2010

Trend: Quality of democracy deteriorating

The German pro-democracy Bertelsmann Stiftung (Foundation) has released its Transformation Index (BTI) 2010 (the fourth edition, after 2003, 2006, and 2008), "a global ranking that analyzes and evaluates development and transformation processes in 128 countries" with regard to "how each of these countries is progressing toward democracy and a market economy".

The overview report can be read free of charge here:


Excerpts: "[W]ith the exception of a very stable group of top performers, the overall quality of democracy has deteriorated and – in some cases – considerably. [...] 53 countries are now classified as 'defective democracies.' [...] The failing states of Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and the Central African Republic are included in the group of 52 autocracies because, although they have held elections, [...] each has created a situation in which no truly democratic system can be established. [...] Of the 15 countries that have suffered a significant deterioration in the quality of their political systems over the last two years, nine are found in sub-Saharan Africa. Among them are countries that once inspired great hopes for democracy, such as Madagascar, Senegal and Tanzania, each of which is now close to becoming a 'highly defective democracy.'"

The English version of the full report was supposed to be published by Bertelsmann as a 260-page book in February 2010, but appears not yet to have been released. It will include all 128 country reports and relevant data, documented on an enclosed CD.

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