Populists and autocrats: the dual threat to global democracy
Photo Credit: Kristof van Accom /AFP /Getty Images via original source

Populists and autocrats: the dual threat to global democracy

In 2016, populist and nationalist political forces made astonishing gains in democratic states and authoritarian powers engaged in brazen acts of aggression, marking the world’s 11th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. While in past years declines in freedom were concentrated among autocracies and dictatorships that went from bad to worse, in 2016 it was established democracies—countries rated Free in the report’s ranking system—that dominated the list of countries suffering setbacks. A total of 67 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2016, compared with 36 that registered gains.


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