Summary of Democracy Index 2012

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Democracy Index 2012 summary
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8 Overall

8 Importance

8 Innovation

8 Style


Consider the case of Egypt in the summer of 2013: When citizens and military, religious and civic leaders unite to remove an elected government, is that a blow to democracy or a step toward greater democratic legitimacy? The Economist Intelligence Unit’s report provides a helpful overview of democracy and accountability in 165 independent states and two territories, as well as profound and subtle thinking about the meaning and function of democracy. This analysis is a useful reference, and getAbstract recommends that those affected by (or shaping) public policy should keep a copy close at hand in these turbulent times.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How democracy is faring across the globe,
  • How the economic crisis is affecting the stability and legitimacy of elected governments,
  • Where democracy is advancing and retreating, and
  • Why the Arab Spring has yet to deliver better government in the Middle East and North Africa.

About the Author

The Economist Intelligence Unit is an independent research and analytics organization that offers forecasting and advisory services.



The advance of global democracy has stalled. An Economist Intelligence Unit survey ranks 25 countries (11.3% of the world’s population) as “full democracies.” Norway tops the list. A further 54 countries (37.2%) are “flawed democracies,” such as France and Italy, where institutional failings or a weak political culture mar otherwise free elections and respect for civil liberties. Some 37 countries (14.4%) are “hybrid regimes” where some democratic institutions exist but practice falls short of the ideal; Pakistan is an example. “Authoritarian regimes” exist in 51 countries (37.1%); North Korea...

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