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Does Netanyahu Really Believe in Democracy? Global Freedom Experts Aren't Sure

14 1 58
29.03.2020

With the release of V-Dem’s democracy report last Friday, all the three big democracy rating indexes have published their yearly reports for 2020 (their data covers 2019). It is bleak reading – and that does not count the likely even more negative fallout for the world’s democracies that may emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession that will surely follow.

The three reports unanimously paint a picture of intensifying autocratization around the world - from Brazil to India to the U.S. to Europe - with Hungary now being the first non-democratic Member State of the EU.

According to V-Dem’s latest report, the majority or the world’s states are no longer democracies and only 46 percent of the world’s population are now living in electoral and liberal democracies. Freedom House’s flagship publication, the "Freedom in the World Report for 2020," found that 2019 was the 14th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.

All regime types were affected by this decline and more than half of the countries that were rated Free or Not Free in 2009 have suffered a net decline in the past decade, according to Freedom House. The Economist Democracy Index reported the worst average global score since the index was first produced in 2006.

So how did Israel fare in this dark hour for liberal democracy? Like last year, Israel ‘s scores were a mixed bag; from again receiving its worst rating ever from Freedom House, to receiving the same, relatively bad rating from V-Dem as it received last year, to again receiving its best rating ever from The Economist Democracy Index. The discrepancies can be explained by looking at the various rating indexes measurements and methodologies, which all rely on expert coding.

Freedom House, the most well-known of the big three rating indexes, gave Israel its worst rating ever since its flagship publication the Freedom in the World began in 1973. Freedom House lowered Israel’s aggregated score from 78/100 last year to 76/100 this year.

The decline in Israel’s rating took place in the category "Functioning of Government" because the two successive........

© Haaretz