Headline, November 09 2020/ ''' '' V DEMOCRACY V '' ''' : O'' DEAR !WOW!

''' '' V DEMOCRACY V '' ''' :


THE EROSION OF DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM OVER THE past two decades have steadily seen the process of elections becoming more and more doubtful.

Varied constraints have been placed on freedom of association, freedom of expression of media and of very ordinary citizens.

Francis Fukayam's '' End of History'' thesis - put forth in early 1990s - claiming the ascendancy of  Western Liberal democracy as a near inevitability has been turned on its head. Instead we have seen an unanticipated rise of what is now being described as a ''third wave of autocratisation.''

An autocracy can basically be described as a country when unlimited authority and power is exercised by one person or group. Autocratic tendencies are antithetical to the notion of democracy and the resurgence of autocratic tendencies around the world is a very serious cause for concern.

Latin America is back to a level last recorded in early 90s. Eastern Europe and Central Asia are experiencing democratic erosion which reminds us of the Soviet Union era. India is now being described as on the verge of losing its status as a democracy. 

Countries with large economies exercising considerable military power and political influence, are not safe from this wave of autocratisation either.

Set up in 2014, the Varieties of Democracy [V-Dem] project based in the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, provided a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. V-Dem uses a multidimensional and disaggregated dataset that reflects the complexity of the concept of democracy as a system going beyond a simple presence of elections.

The V-Dem project distinguishes between five high level principles of Democracy : electoral, liberal, participatory, deliberative, and egalitarian, and collects data to main to measure these.

It disaggregated these principles into dozens of lower-level components of democracy such as regular elections, judicial independence, direct democracy, and gender equality.

The V-Dem report for 2020, based on the developments in 2019, painted a dim picture, It estimated that almost 35% of the world's population [around 2.6 billion people] were living in autocratizing nations in 2019, compared to only 6% in 2009.

Turkey lost its status as a democracy in 2014. But in 2019, the US was also seen suffering from substantial autocratization, alongside other large countries like Brazil.

The EU too saw a non-democratic country amongst its ranks, as Hungary was classified as an electoral authoritarian regime.

The erosion of democratic freedoms over the past two decades have steadily seen the process of elections becoming more doubtful. Varied constraints have been placed on freedom of association, freedom of expression of media, and of ordinary citizens.

The situation is not great in our part of the world either. The democratic situation in South Asian countries such as Bhutan, and Nepal has improved in recently, but India's performance has seen a drastic downturn.

While the V-Dem report did not express concern about Sri Lanka, its next version [based on 2020 data] which will need to take into account strongarm tactics deployed after after the Rajapaksa brothers return, will most certainly lead to to a downgrading of Sri Lanka's democratic record.

In its 2020 report, V-Dem is most concerned about about the erosion of democracy in India. It notes the problem unleashed by introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Act and Modi's crackdown on freedom of expression.

It compares these to tactics used by Indira Ghandi regime during the the 1975-77 state of emergency. While V-Dem expresses concern about the deteriorating situation in Kashmir, the report's findings were not able to consider the highhanded manner in which Modi handled the Covid-19 crisis and used it as an excuse to further throttle the resistance in Kashmir.

V-Dem uses what it called the the Liberal Democracy Index [LDI] to rank countries. Due to the above mentioned concerns, India's LDI rankings fell drastically over the past few years, ranking it 90 out of  177 countries in 2020, which was barely above the the democratic threshold.

On the other hand, Pakistan's ranking has not seen much seen much significant change, but that is not any cause for jubilation. Given ongoing development in the country, it's unlikely our ranking will improve when V-Dem carries out with its 2021 report..    

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Democracy and Principles continues. The World Students Society thanks author Syed M Ali. 

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Founder Framers, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter -!E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Wave - Wean '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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