The US has been added to an annual list of “backsliding” democracies for the first time, the International IDEA thinktank has said, pointing to a “visible deterioration” it said began in 2019.
Globally, more than one in four people live in a backsliding democracy, a proportion that rises to more than two in three with the addition of authoritarian or “hybrid” regimes, according to the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
“This year we coded the United States as backsliding for the first time, but our data suggest that the backsliding episode began at least in 2019,” it said in its report.
Alexander Hudson, a co-author of the report, said: “The United States is a high-performing democracy, and even improved its performance in indicators of impartial administration (corruption and predictable enforcement) in 2020. However, the declines in civil liberties and checks on government indicate that there are serious problems with the fundamentals of democracy.”
The report says: “A historic turning point came in 2020-21 when former president Donald Trump questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election results in the United States.”
In addition, Hudson pointed to a “decline in the quality of freedom of association and assembly during the summer of protests in 2020” after the police killing of George Floyd. [Continue reading…]