World

United States listed as a backsliding democracy for first time in report by EU think tank

The United States has joined an annual list of “backsliding” democracies for the first time, the International IDEA think-tank said on Monday, pointing to a “visible deterioration” that it said began in 2019. 

More than one in four people around the world 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.

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), based in Sweden, released a report on Monday detailing the current climate for democracy and sanctity of political institutions in countries around the world.

One of the report’s most worrying findings was an assertion that the United States is now among those nations headed away from democracy and towards autocracy.

“Many democratic governments are backsliding and are adopting authoritarian tactics by restricting free speech and weakening the rule of law, a trend exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” read the report.

“International IDEA warns against the grave and looming threat of disinformation and baseless accusations of electoral fraud, as seen in Myanmar, Peru and the United States,” it went on.

The report also found that several European countries including Slovenia, Poland and Hungary are seeing authoritarian tendencies intensify in and around government.

“The Global State of Democracy report is not a wakeup call, it’s an alarm bell. Authoritarianism advances in every corner of the earth. Universal values – the pillars of civilization that protect the most vulnerable – are under threat,” said Jutta Urpilainen, a member of the European Commission, in a statement on Monday.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: STRAITS TIMES

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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