|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
India a flawed democracy: Economist
November 22, 2006 21:47 IST
India has been categorised as one of the 'flawed democracies' in the world and figures 35th in the democracy rankings unveiled in the prestigious magazine The Economist.
The magazine, in its annual publication, The World in 2007, featured a new democracy index developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which graded 167 countries around the world according to their degree of democracy.
Twenty-eight countries are listed in the category of full democracies, 54 flawed democracies, 30 hybrid regimes and 55 authoritarian regimes.
Among the 54 flawed democracies, India is seventh and overall 35th. South Africa, Chile, South Korea, Taiwan, Estonia and Italy are ahead of India in the category of flawed democracies.
While India scored 9.58 out of 10 for its electoral process and pluralism and 8.21 out of 10 for functioning of government, it scored lowly in the category of political participation (5.56 out of 10) and political culture (5.63 out of 10). It got 9.41 out of 10 for civil liberties.
Pakistan has been listed among authoritarian regimes and it comes 113 in the democracy index.
Among the full democracies, Sweden tops the list with US coming 17th and the UK 23rd.
According to the report, "although democracy-promotion is high on the list of American foreign-policy priorities, there is no consensus within the American government on what constitutes a democracy."
As an observer recently put it, "the world's only superpower is rhetorically and militarily promoting a political system that remains undefined -- and it is staking its credibility and treasure on that pursuit."
More than half of the world's population lives in a democracy of some sort, although only 13 per cent reside in full democracies.
Despite the advances in democracy in recent decades, almost 40 per cent of the world's population still live under authoritarian rule.
Sweden leads the pack with a near-perfect score followed closely by Iceland and the Netherlands.
By contrast, the United States (17th), Britain (23rd) and France (24th) are near the bottom of the full democracy category.
A decline in civil liberties and malfunctioning of government account for the US position.
In the UK a shock decline in political participation, alongside some erosion of civil liberties, is the main reason for the comparatively modest ranking.
North Korea ranks last at the bottom of the list of authoritarian regimes.