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to have taken hold in Tunisia after 
mass protests led to the ousting of long-time dictator Ben Ali in 
2011. Following the first democratic elections in 2014, a second 
and successful round of elections led to a peaceful transfer of 
power that seems to have stabilized the democratization process. 
In Armenia, pro-democracy activists can now similarly harvest the 
fruits of their peaceful protests in celebrating that a democrati-
cally elected government has been in power for a full year in 2019. 
Ecuador is another notable case. Grassroots movements in favor 
of democracy played a decisive role in reversing the autocratiza-
tion process initiated under former President Rafael Correa. During 
his tenure from 2007 to 2017, he changed the constitution in order 
to expand his powers and censor the media, as we reported in 
the 2017 Democracy At Dusk? report.34 Starting in earnest in 2012, 
indigenous groups, the environmental movement, unions, and 
student groups orchestrated mass protests, which eventually 
forced Correa to abandon his plans to stand for re-election in 2017. 
PAIS Alliance’s new candidate Lenín Moreno won the presidential 
contest and – much to the surprise of many observers – reversed 
many of the autocratic-leaning measures of his predecessor.35 
However, Ecuador’s citizens rose again in 2019, now protesting 
against Moreno’s economic policies and the regime responded 
in part with a disproportionate use of violence. The outcome 
remains uncertain, illustrating that the route from pro-democracy 
mass protests to a stable democracy is often bumpy. 
The 2019 “Year of Protest” shows that movement-based successes 
do not come easily. Only sustained, organized, and peaceful activ-
ism can eventually help to build democracy in countries now 
attempting to become free. We also know that economic griev-
ances often trigger popular protests, in particular in fledgling 
democracies. Protesters want to see that the political system 
can address their needs on socio-economic fronts as well. In the 
longer run, if new democracies are not able to deliver, they might 
not prevail.36
23STATE OF THE WORLD 2020
Top 50% of countries
 Score
 Confidence interval
 Autocratizing countries
 Democratizing countries
 2009
 2019
FIGURE 18: COUNTRIES BY SCORE ON V-DEM’S LIBERAL DEMOCRACY INDEX (LDI), 2009 COMPARED TO 2019
Orange country names 
signify cases of significant and 
substantial autocratization. 
Green country names 
indicate cases of significant 
and substantial democrati-
zation. The graph divides all 
countries’ LDI scores into ranks 
of top 10% to 50% and bottom 
50% to 10%. Lines indicate the 
confidence intervals around 
the point estimates. Countries 
with overlapping confidence 
intervals are statistically 
indistinguishable.37
37 The confidence intervals we report here 
are actually 68% highest posterior density 
intervals, a Bayesian corollary of frequentist 
confidence intervals.
Uruguay
South Korea
France
Netherlands
Luxembourg
Australia
United Kingdom
Ireland
Finland
Spain
New Zealand
Costa Rica
Portugal
Belgium
Norway
Switzerland
Sweden
Estonia
Denmark
To
p 
10
%
Score and Confidence Intervals
United States of America
Cyprus
Latvia
Slovenia
Mauritius
Slovakia
Austria
Cape Verde
Barbados
Lithuania
Japan
Greece
Chile
Iceland
Italy
Canada
Germany
To
p 
10
−2
0%
Suriname
Botswana
Malta
Senegal
Namibia
Sao Tome and Principe
Israel
South Africa
Panama
Vanuatu
Ghana
Argentina
Trinidad and Tobago
Armenia
Tunisia
Peru
Jamaica
Taiwan
Czech Republic
To
p 
20
−3
0%
Nepal
Lesotho
Sri Lanka
Seychelles
Mexico
Bulgaria
Bhutan
Indonesia
Poland
Ecuador
Colombia
Georgia
Brazil
Solomon Islands
Timor−Leste
Mongolia
Croatia
To
p 
30
−4
0%
India
Papua New Guinea
Ivory Coast
Sierra Leone
Guatemala
Hungary
Kosovo
Guyana
Malawi
Liberia
Paraguay
Albania
North Macedonia
Romania
El Salvador
Moldova
The Gambia
Benin
0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00
Liberal Democracy Index
To
p 
40
−5
0%
2009 2019 Autocratizing Democratizing
24 DEMOCRACY REPORT 2020
 Score
 Confidence interval
 Autocratizing countries
 Democratizing countries
 2009
 2019
Ukraine
Kuwait
Bolivia
Mali
Fiji
Madagascar
Kyrgyzstan
Dominican Republic
Maldives
Malaysia
Kenya
Nigeria
Tanzania
Niger
Singapore
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Montenegro
Bo
tto
m
 4
0−
50
%
Score and Confidence Intervals
Afghanistan
Central African Republic
Uganda
Angola
Haiti
Iraq
Myanmar
Serbia
Jordan
Hong Kong
Morocco
Somaliland
Mozambique
Burkina Faso
Zambia
Philippines
Lebanon
Guinea−Bissau
Bo
tto
m
 3
0−
40
%
Democratic Republic of Congo
Oman
Iran
Cameroon
Thailand
Rwanda
Libya
Mauritania
Guinea
Zimbabwe
Ethiopia
Togo
Zanzibar
Comoros
Honduras
Gabon
Palestine/West Bank
Pakistan
Bo
tto
m
 2
0−
30
%
Uzbekistan
Cambodia
Cuba
United Arab Emirates
Laos
Russia
Republic of the Congo
Bangladesh
Turkey
Somalia
Chad
Belarus
Kazakhstan
Algeria
Vietnam
Eswatini
Egypt
Djibouti
Bo
tto
m
 1
0−
20
%
Eritrea
North Korea
Saudi Arabia
Yemen
Syria
China
Bahrain
Turkmenistan
Equatorial Guinea
Nicaragua
Burundi
Tajikistan
Azerbaijan
Palestine/Gaza
Venezuela
Qatar
Sudan
0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00
Liberal Democracy Index
Bo
tto
m
 1
0%
2009 2019 Autocratizing Democratizing
Bottom 50% of countries
25STATE OF THE WORLD 2020
The countries are sorted by regime type in 2019, and after that in alphabetical order. 
They are classified based on the Regimes of the World measure. 
We incorporate V-Dem’s confidence estimates in order to account for the uncertainty 
and potential measurement error due to the nature of the data but also to underline 
that some countries are placed in the grey zone between regime types. 
This builds on the regime-classification by Lührmann et al. (2018). While using V-Dem’s 
data, this measure is not officially endorsed by the Steering Committee of V-Dem 
(only the main V-Dem democracy indices have such an endorsement).
TABLE 3: REGIMES OF THE WORLD 2009–2019
COUNTRY 2019 CHANGE FROM 2009
Australia LD
Austria LD
Belgium LD
Denmark LD
Finland LD
Germany LD
Ireland LD
Japan LD
Luxembourg LD
Netherlands LD
New Zealand LD
South Korea LD
Spain LD
Sweden LD
Switzerland LD
Taiwan LD
USA LD
Uruguay LD
Barbados LD – 
Bhutan LD -
Botswana LD – 
Canada LD –
Chile LD –
Costa Rica LD –
Cyprus LD –
Estonia LD –
France LD –
Ghana LD –
Israel LD –
Italy LD –
Latvia LD –
Norway LD –
Portugal LD –
Slovenia LD –
Trinidad and Tobago LD –
Tunisia LD – 
United Kingdom LD –
Cape Verde ED +
Czech Republic ED + 
Gambia ED + 
Greece ED + 
Iceland ED + 
Jamaica ED +
Lithuania ED + 
Mauritius ED + 
COUNTRY 2019 CHANGE FROM 2009
Namibia ED + 
São Tomé & Príncipe ED +
Senegal ED +
Slovakia ED + 
Vanuatu ED +
Argentina ED
Brazil ED
Bulgaria ED
Colombia ED
Croatia ED
Dominican Republic ED
Ecuador ED
El Salvador ED
Georgia ED
Guatemala ED
Guyana ED
Indonesia ED
Ivory Coast ED 
Kosovo ED
Liberia ED
Malta ED
Mexico ED
Moldova ED 
Mongolia ED
Nepal ED
North Macedonia ED
Panama ED
Paraguay ED
Peru ED
Poland ED 
Romania ED
Sierra Leone ED
Solomon Islands ED
South Africa ED 
Sri Lanka ED 
Suriname ED
Timor-Leste ED
BiH ED –
Guinea-Bissau ED – 
India ED –
Lesotho ED –
Seychelles ED – 
Albania EA + 
Armenia EA +
Benin EA + 
COUNTRY 2019 CHANGE FROM 2009
Bolivia EA + 
Fiji EA + 
Hungary EA + 
Lebanon EA +
Madagascar EA +
Malawi EA + 
Malaysia EA +
Maldives EA + 
Mali EA + 
Montenegro EA +
Nigeria EA +
Papua New Guinea EA +
Philippines EA +
Ukraine EA + 
Afghanistan EA
Algeria EA
Angola EA 
Azerbaijan EA
Bangladesh EA 
Belarus EA
Burkina Faso EA 
Burundi EA
CAR EA
Cambodia EA
Cameroon EA
Chad EA
Comoros EA 
Congo EA
DRC EA
Djibouti EA
Egypt EA
Equatorial Guinea EA
Ethiopia EA
Gabon EA
Guinea EA 
Haiti EA
Honduras EA
Iran EA
Iraq EA
Kazakhstan EA
Kenya EA
Kyrgyzstan EA
Mauritania EA
Mozambique EA
Myanmar EA 
COUNTRY 2019 CHANGE FROM 2009
Nicaragua EA
Niger EA
Pakistan EA
Palestine/West Bank EA
Russia EA
Rwanda EA
Serbia EA 
Singapore EA

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