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Democracy Challenged? The 2024 Berggruen Governance Index Updated report examines new data about the relationship between the quality of democracy, governance and life around the world over time

The world has taken a small step backward on the path of democracy since 2010, according to a global index released this week by an international group of researchers. The 2024 Berggruen Governance Index, or BGI, shows slippage of measurable benchmarks of democratic accountability across 145 countries — from a 2010 average of 67 on a 100-point scale to 65 points in 2021, the latest year for which data is available. The global average had risen from 64 to 67 points between 2000 and 2010. The 96-page report, “Democracy Challenged,” was unveiled Wednesday by researchers at UCLA who collaborated on the project with the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute and the Berlin-based Hertie School. The report led by Helmut Anheier of UCLA Luskin examines the relationship between the quality of democracy, the quality of governance and the quality of life in over 140 countries over 20 years. The finding of slippage in the BGI’s Democratic Accountability Index is only a small setback, which “tempers some of the more dire assessments about the future of democracy,” the authors wrote. Countries with some of the largest declines in the democracy index are India, China, Venezuela, Thailand, Turkey, Yemen and Russia. In the European Union, Poland and Hungary saw significant backsliding, according to the report. The United States, which had risen from 91 to 95 points in the decade through 2010, has since fallen back to 86 on the democracy index. State capacity in the U.S. is also sliding, from a steady 79 points in 2010 to 64 in 2021. Yet on the public goods index, the country has steadily climbed from 84 points in 2000 to 87 in 2021. Democracy News Alliance


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