Democracy Index 2020: In sickness and in health?


Democracy was dealt a major blow in 2020. Almost 70% of countries covered by The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index recorded a decline in their overall score, as country after country locked down to protect lives from a novel coronavirus. The global average score fell to its lowest level since the index began in 2006.

The EIU Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories. The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. Based on their scores on 60 indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime or authoritarian regime.

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–The Guardian view on Myanmar’s coup: the army strikes back

The detention and charging of Aung San Suu Kyi reflect the military’s contempt for its people. Myanmar’s people chose democracy. But the generals who had hogged power for decades never gave it up; they only ceded a portion of it to civilian authorities, holding on to a chunk of seats and key ministries. Now, after another landslide victory for the National League for Democracy in November’s election, they have decided even that was too much.


–Myanmar coup: army blocks Facebook access as civil disobedience grows

Instagram and WhatsApp – owned by Facebook and used to organise protests – also restricted, as UN secretary general condemns coup. Myanmar’s army has ordered internet service providers to block access to Facebook as it attempts to stamp out signs of dissent, days after it ousted the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Facebook, one of the most popular means of communication in Myanmar, has been used to coordinate a civil disobedience campaign that saw health workers at dozens of hospitals walk out of their jobs on Wednesday to protest against the army’s actions. It has also been used to share plans for evening protests, where residents have taken to their balconies to bang pots and pans, a symbolic act to drive away evil.