April 8, 2011

South Caucasian Countries have not Become more Democratic since 2008

Economist Intelligence Unit has published third edition of Democracy Index (first edition in 2006 and second in 2008), representing the situation as of November, 2010, reflecting the situation in 165 countries.

The index measures five indicators: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. The countries are divided into four groups - full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.

As it is stated in the report, now the half of the world population is living in a "democracy of some sort", while only 12% in full democracy and one third of world population under authoritarian regime. Compared to 2008 results, there has been some decline in democracies all over the world. The world financial crisis has had negative impact on the process of democratization.

Norway, Iceland and Denmark have the highest scores for democracy. Georgia (103rd) and Armenia (109th) are included in the groups of the countries with hybrid regimes with 4.59 and 4.09 points consequently, whereas Azerbaijan (135th) is in the group of the countries with authoritarian regimes with 3.15 points, lacking far behind its South Caucasian neighbors.

Georgia has the best result for electoral process and pluralism (7.00) and the worst result for functioning for government (2.14). Armenia's best result is for civil liberties (5.59) and the worst result for functioning of the government (3.21). For Azerbaijan the best result is for civil liberties (4.71) and the worst result for functioning of the government (1.79). Thus, we have an overall picture for South Caucasian countries: all three republics need improvements for the functioning of the government.

Armenia's overall score (4,09) has not changed, compared to 2008 results, though its position compared to other countries has improved from 119 to 103. This may be explained by the fact that other countries have worse results and consequently, worse rates. Azerbaijan's overall score has declined from 3,19 to 3,15, though Azerbaijan's rank among other countries has not changed. Finally, Georgia's overall score has declined from 4,62 to 4,59 and its rank has improved from 104 to 103. Thus, the changes for all South Caucasus republics are negligible.

The more detailed full report is available at Economist Intelligence Unit official website.

All data numbers and picture are from the report of Economist Intelligence Unit "Democracy Index 2010"

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