Democratic backsliding – a global view
Regime types in the world
In the last couple of years, researchers have increasingly been occupied with democratic ‘backsliding’: a reduction of the quality of democracy. Looking at the regimes in the world variable in the V-Dem dataset, we can elucidate global trends.
As recently as 1945, three-quarters of countries were closed autocracies. Since then, the number of democracies – both liberal and electoral ones – has increased. At the same time, more and more autocracies opened up and became electoral autocracies. The 1990s saw a particularly strong expansion of (electoral) democracies at the expense of autocracies, the so-called ‘third wave’ of democratization (Huntington 1993).
Around 2010, the trend has turned. Since then, liberal democracies have turned into electoral democracies.