Russia is the country where democracy has declined the most in 2022, ahead of Burkina Faso and Haiti, according to a study published Thursday, February 2 by the British group The Economist producing an index of democracy in 167 countries. Following the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russia's Democracy Index saw the biggest drop in 2022, dropping 22 places in the world rankings of this study by the Research and Analysis Division of the group (EIU), which places Russia at 146th place.
The war in Ukraine "exposed the divisions between developed democracies that support Ukraine and many developing countries that have chosen not to take sides," the study points out. Among the "authoritarian regimes", other countries such as Haiti, "which seems to be in a state of internal dissolution" (135ᵉ, -16 places), and Burkina Faso (127ᵉ, -16 places), where "an Islamist insurgency caused the state to lose control of part of the territory", also saw their index drop sharply in 2022.
Conversely, Thailand is the country that saw the strongest index increase in 2022, advancing 17 places to 55ᵉ in the ranking.
Our global democracy index shows several authoritarian rulers tightened their grip. Discover where your country ranks https://t.co/XkAK9Af5aT
The lifting of restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the score of many countries, including France (22ᵉ, stable), Spain (22ᵉ also, 2 places) and Chile (19ᵉ, 6 places) which make their return to the group of "complete democracies". Regionally, Western Europe is the only region to significantly improve its score in 2022. "Those of North America, Asia, Australasia, Eastern Europe East and Sub-Saharan Africa stagnated, and those in Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa suffered declines,” the study adds.
At the global level, the Democracy Index 2022 fell from 5.28 in 2021 to 5.29 in 2022. A stabilization after the drop of 0.09 points last year. As in 2021, less than half of the world's population lived in a democracy in 2022 and only 8% in a "full democracy", in a ranking still led by Norway and closed by Afghanistan.
The study identifies five categories of criteria for establishing the ranking: electoral processes and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.