The Economist Intelligence Unit’s just released Democracy Index 2021 divides the world’s 167 largest countries into four categories. These are “full democracies” (12.6% of the total), “flawed democracies” (31.7%), “hybrid regimes” (20.4%) and “authoritarian regimes” (35.3%).
It is a particularly apt time for the research to be posted. Two totalitarian nations currently threaten the world order. China has indicated its plans to take over Taiwan, an independent country with 25 million people. Also known as the Republic of China, it is just off the coast of the People’s Republic of China, which has the world’s largest standing army. The other unstable situation is in Ukraine, which has been threatened with invasion by Russia. This threat has put NATO on high alert and driven intervention by most European leaders and the United States.
The governments on the list are rated by 1) electoral process and pluralism, 2) functioning of government, 3) political participation, 4) political culture and 5) civil liberties. Each of the nations is given a score, with a maximum score of 10. The United States is listed as a flawed democracy and ranks 26th. Only 21 nations make the cut as full democracies.
To the far end of the scale, there are the “authoritarian regimes” of which there are 59. The researchers wrote: “At the bottom of the rankings, there was a dramatic change, with Afghanistan and Myanmar displacing North Korea to take the bottom two places. Two war-torn African countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic sit above North Korea to fill the bottom five slots. Syria, Turkmenistan, Chad, Laos and Equatorial Guinea make up the others in the bottom ten.”
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan in the middle of last year, although the nation remains in chaos. According to the CIA World Factbook, the country is currently run by acting Deputy Prime Ministers Mullah Abdul Ghani BERADER, Mullah Abdul Salam HANAFI, and Maulawi Abdul KABIR.
Afghanistan has a population of 37.5 million. GDP per capita ranks 214th, according to the Factbook, which puts it near the bottom of a list of 229 countries.
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