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Democracy Index 2019

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate. Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.

Democracy Index 2019

What to study?

For Prelims: Democracy Index 2019- features and performance of various countries, what is a flawed democracy?

For Mains: Concerns expressed over India and measures needed to improve.

ContextDemocracy Index 2019 has been released.

The report ranks 165 independent states and two territories, covering almost the entire population of the world.

About the index:

It is released annually by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

It provides a snapshot of the state of world democracy for 165 independent states and two territories.

 The Index is based on five categories:

  1. Electoral process and pluralism.
  2. Civil liberties.
  3. Functioning of government.
  4. Political participation.
  5. 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; and authoritarian regime.

Performance of India:

In 2019, India slipped 10 places to 51st position.

It is placed in the “flawed democracy” category, which also includes Bangladesh (5.88).

 Its score, down from from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90 in 2019, is its lowest ever since the Democracy Index was begun in 2006.


On the CAA, the report says, “The new citizenship law has enraged the large Muslim population, stoked communal tensions and generated large protests in major cities.”

What caused democratic regression in India?

As per the report, erosion of civil liberties in the country is main reason.

The report mentioned the stripping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status with the repeal of Articles 370 and 35A, the various security measures that followed the bifurcation of the state including restriction of Internet access, and the exclusion of 1.9 million people from the final NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Assam.

Rankings of various other countries:

  1. Norway (top-ranked with 9.87) is counted as a “full democracy”.
  2. Following Norway at the top of the rankings are Iceland (9.58), Sweden (9.39) and New Zealand (9.26).
  3. Other “full democracies” include Germany, the United Kingdom and France.
  4. The United States, with a score of 7.96 is a “flawed democracy”, in the same category as India.
  5. In 2019, the average global score fell from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44, the worst result since 2006.
  6. China (2.26) and North Korea (bottom-ranked with 1.08) are categorised as “authoritarian regimes”.
  7. Pakistan, with a score of 4.25, is categorised as a “hybrid democracy”.
  8. The report describes the year in Asia as one filled with “drama and tumult,” with Hong Kong being the epicentre of protest in the continent.

Sources: the Hindu.