Democracy in freefall in Russia, Burkina and Haiti in 2022

Democracy in free fall in Russia, Burkina and Haiti in 2022


Russia is the country in the world where democracy has declined the most in 2022 ahead of Burkina Faso and Haiti, according to a study published Thursday by the British group The Economist carrying out an index of democracy in 167 countries . 

Following the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia's Democracy Index saw the biggest drop in 2022, dropping it 22 places in the world rankings of this study by the group's research and analysis division. (EIU), which ranks Russia 146th.

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The war in Ukraine “has revealed the divisions between developed democracies that support Ukraine and many developing countries that have chosen not to take sides,” the study points out. 

Among the “authoritarian regimes”, other countries such as Haiti “which seems to be in a state of internal dissolution” (135th, -16 places) and Burkina Faso (127th, -16 places), where “an Islamist insurrection has losing control of part of the territory to the state” also saw their index drop sharply in 2022.

Conversely, Thailand is the country that has seen the largest increase in index in 2022, moving up 17 places to 55th in the ranking. 

The lifting of restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the score of many countries including France (22nd, stable), Spain (also 22nd, +2 places) and Chile (19th +6 places) which make their return to the group of “complete democracies”.

At the regional level, Western Europe is the only region to improve its score decisively in 2022. 

< p>“Those from North America, Asia, Australasia, Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa have stagnated, and those from Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa suffered declines,” the study adds.

Globally, the 2022 Democracy Index fell from 5.28 in 2021 to 5.29 in 2022. stabilization after the 0.09 point drop last year.

But as in 2021, less than half of the world's population lived in a democracy in 2022 and only 8% in a “full democracy” , in a ranking still led by Norway and closed by Afghanistan.  

The study identifies five categories of criteria for establishing the ranking: electoral processes and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.