Pakistan remains a Hybrid Regime in Democracy Index's global ranking

By: Raheel Hanif      Published: 06:12 PM, 3 Feb, 2021
Pakistan remains a Hybrid Regime in Democracy Index's global ranking

Pakistan remains in the Hybrid Regime in the 2020 Democracy Index's global ranking, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories. This covers almost the entire population of the world and the vast majority of the world’s states.

Pakistan has been ranked on 105th place against 108th position in 2019. Out of 10 Pakistan has got 4.31 points in 2020 on Democratic Index. Its position has got better from the 2019’s 4.25 points.

In Musharraf era in 2006 Pakistan points were 3.92, but it got better when after 2008 general elections Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) came to power. In 2008, Pakistan points were 4.46, in 2010 4.55, in 2011 4.55, in 2012 4.57, in 2013in 4.64, in 2014 4.64, in 2015 4.40, in 2016--4.33, in 20174.26 and in 2018 4.17.

In 2020, out of 10, Pakistan’s Overall Score is 4.31, It has been ranked at 105th position, while points on Electoral Process and Pluralism measure are 5.67 (6.08 in 2019), on Functioning of Government it got 5.36 points (5.71 in 2019), in political participation 3.33 (2.22 in 2019), in political culture 2.50 (2.50 in 2019) and in civil liberties 4.71 (4.71 in 2019).

Region and Muslim World

In Asia Australasia region, Pakistan seems quite flirting with an authoritarian rule, as it has been ranked at 21st place out of 28 countries as other seven countries in the region are all categorized as an authoritative regime.

In the Islamic world, the East African country Mauritius is the only country where there is full democracy as it has been ranked at 20th place with a score of 8.14. It is followed by Malaysia (39th place) and Indonesia (64th place) as flawed democracies while Bangladesh (76th place), Morocco (96th place), Bosnia (101st place), Turkey (104th place) and Pakistan (105th place) are hybrid regimes. All other Islamic countries have been placed in the authoritarian regime.

Norway stays on top

Norway again topped The Economist Intelligence Unit's latest Democracy Index report titled "Democracy in sickness and in health?" with Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada making up the top five.

In 2020, for the first time since 2010, the average regional scores in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index worsened in every single region of the world.

According to the measure of democracy, only about half (49.4%) of the world’s population live in a democracy of some sort, and even fewer (8.4%) reside in a “full democracy”; this level is up from 5.7% in 2019, as several Asian countries have been upgraded. More than one-third of the world’s population live under authoritarian rule, with a large share being in China.

In the 2020 Democracy Index, 75 of the 167 countries and territories covered by the model, or 44.9% of the total, are considered to be democracies. The number of “full democracies” increased to 23 in 2020, up from 22 in 2019. The number of “flawed democracies” fell by two, to 52. Of the remaining 92 countries in our index, 57 are “authoritarian regimes”, up from 54 in 2019, and 35 are classified as “hybrid regimes”, down from 37 in 2019.

How South Asian neighbours fare

India: India slipped two places to 53rd position due to "democratic backsliding" by authorities and "crackdowns" on civil liberties has led to a further decline in the country's ranking. India's overall score fell from 6.9 in 2019 to 6.61 in the Index. India was ranked 51st in the 2019 Democracy Index. India’s score for electoral process and pluralism is 8.67, functioning of government 7.14, political participation 6.67, political culture 5.00 and civil liberties 5.59.

Bangladesh: Bangladesh is a big mover though it stayed at the top of Hybrid Regime category. The overall score is 5.99, with a rank of 76 as compared to 2019 rank of 80. The score for electoral process and pluralism 7.42, functioning of government 6.07, political participation 6.11, political culture 5.63 and civil liberties 4.71.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka also improved from 69 to 68 with overall score of 6.14. The score for electoral process and pluralism is 7.00, functioning of government 5.71, political participation 5.56, political culture 6.25, and civil liberties is 6.18.

Afghanistan: Afghanistan also improved two places with overall score of 2.85 and 141 rank. The score for electoral process and pluralism is 3.42, functioning of government 0.64, political participation 3.89, political culture 2.50 and civil liberties 3.82.

Biggest movers and losers

The symbolism of Asia gaining three new “full democracies” (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) in 2020 and Western Europe losing two (France and Portugal) was apt, as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has accelerated the shift in the global balance of power from the West to the East.

The star-performer in this year’s Democracy Index, measured by the change in both its score and rank, is Taiwan, which was upgraded from a “flawed democracy” to a “full democracy”, after rising 20 places in the global ranking from 31st place to 11th.

In a year notable for having few winners, Taiwan’s performance was spectacular. The country’s score rose by more than any other country in the 2020 index. Taiwan went to the polls in January 2020, and the national elections demonstrated the resilience of its democracy at a time when electoral processes, parliamentary oversight and civil liberties have been backsliding globally. There was a strong voter turnout, including among the younger generation, to elect the president and members of the Legislative Yuan (parliament).

According to the EUI report, Mali and Togo the big losers in a dire year for African democracy. Measured by the decline in its score, Mali, in East Africa, was the worst-performing country in the 2020 Democracy Index, being downgraded from a “hybrid regime” to an “authoritarian regime”

Mali does not have full control over its territory, and rampant insecurity precipitated a coup in August 2020 by military officers aggrieved by a lack of progress against jihadist insurgents. A military junta has since established a transitional government, nullifying the outcome of parliamentary elections held in March 2020, which were broadly free and fair. Because of this, Mali has dropped 11 places globally, the second-biggest fall in rank in Sub-Saharan Africa behind Togo, which fell 15 places, further down the ranks of “authoritarian regimes”.

In 2020 two west European countries—France and Portugal—moved from the “full democracy” category to the “flawed democracy”. Thirteen countries in the region are now classed as “full democracies” (down from 15 in 2019) and seven as “flawed democracies”, up from five in 2019.

North Korea has been remained yet again at the end of the list at 167 with overall Score 1.08. The score for electoral process and pluralism is 0.00, functioning of government 2.50, Political participation 1.67, Political culture 1.25, and civil liberties 0.00.

Four types of regimes

The Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Based on its scores on a range of indicators within these categories, each country is then itself classified as one of four types of regime: “full democracy”, “flawed democracy”, “hybrid regime” or “authoritarian regime”

Full democracies: Countries in which not only basic political freedoms and civil liberties are respected, but which also tend to be underpinned by a political culture conducive to the flourishing of democracy. The functioning of government is satisfactory. Media are independent and diverse. There is an effective system of checks and balances. The judiciary is independent and judicial decisions are enforced. There are only limited problems in the functioning of democracies.

Flawed democracies: These countries also have free and fair elections and, even if there are problems (such as infringements on media freedom), basic civil liberties are respected. However, there are significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.

Hybrid regimes: Elections have substantial irregularities that often prevent them from being both free and fair. Government pressure on opposition parties and candidates may be common. Serious weaknesses are more prevalent than in flawed democracies—in political culture, functioning of government and political participation. Corruption tends to be widespread and the rule of law is weak. Civil society is weak. Typically, there is harassment of and pressure on journalists, and the judiciary is not independent.

Authoritarian regimes: In these states, state political pluralism is absent or heavily circumscribed. Many countries in this category are outright dictatorships. Some formal institutions of democracy may exist, but these have little substance. Elections, if they do occur, are not free and fair. There is disregard for abuses and infringements of civil liberties. Media are typically state-owned or controlled by groups connected to the ruling regime. There is repression of criticism of the government and pervasive censorship. There is no independent judiciary.

Categories : Pakistan, National