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.

Etienne Hanelt
Etienne Hanelt
DPhil candidate

My research interests are European Union politics, backsliding in Central Eastern Europe, and courts.