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Public event

Understanding the spread of autocracy: Did democracy promotion fail? What are the future options for building peaceful and inclusive societies?

Events

Speaker

Staffan I. Lindberg, Director, V-Dem Institute, Deptartment of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Comments

1. Keith Krause, Director, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), The Graduate Institute

2. Sara Sekkenes, Conflict Prevention and Recovery Advisor – Partnerships, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

3. Andrew Ladley, Senior Advisor, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

Background

The world is becoming more autocratic -  this trend is now confirmed by the Democracy Report 2018: Democracy for All? published annually by V-Dem (Varieties of Democracy) which is the largest-ever social science effort to measure democracy across the world (www.v-dem.net).

The Democracy Report 2018 reveals several important trends:

  • Autocratization mainly affects media freedom, freedom of expression, and the rule of law and threatens to undermine the meaningfulness of elections.
  • 2.5 billion people are subjected to increasing autocratization.
  • There is strong and increasingly severe exclusion based on gender, social group, and socio-economic status.
  • Rich segments of society have gained significantly more power in countries home to 1.9 billion of the world’s population over the past decades.

These findings confirm the first significant downward trend in democratization over the last two decades and may point to the important policy challenges for building peaceful and inclusive societies in a new era of more autocratic governance. Despite gradual advances, the report also finds that inclusion remains largely an illusion.

The event will provide an overview of the findings of the Democracy Report 2018 and discuss the implications of its findings.

About V-Dem

The V-Dem dataset, first released in 2016, now contains some 19 million data points covering 201 political units over the period 1789 to 2017. It provides over 400 variables on democracy, human rights, governance, rule of law, and corruption based on ratings provided by over 3,000 scholars and other country experts. These are aggregated to more than 50 indices covering the five core types of democracy as well as facets like clean elections, freedom of expression, rule of law, corruption, women’s empowerment, civil society, civil liberties, and accountability.

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