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Home » Kyrgyzstan, Politics and Society

Still An Island of Democracy?

Written by on Thursday, 30 December 2010
Kyrgyzstan, Politics and Society
One Comment

According to the recent report of the Economist Intelligence Unit, Kyrgyzstan seems to remain an “island of democracy” in Central Asia (term coined by Askar Akayev – first President of the Kyrgyz Republic).  Kyrgyzstan ranked 106 in the Democracy Index and was included in the so called “Hybrid regimes” section, while all of its immediate neighbors in the region: Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan fell in the “Authoritarian regimes” section.

The country made a significant progress shifting up from 114th place in 2008, when the last report was published.  Kyrgyzstan is the only country with such significant progress among its neighbors and the term ”island of democracy” can be used only in this comparative context, since overall it is still in the worst third of the list.

Each state is evaluated according to four main criteria: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation and political culture.  Kyrgyzstan scored lowest on “functioning of government”, which is quite self explanatory considering the fact that almost half of 2010 the country was governed by semi-legitimate “revolutionaries”.

The report gives an analytical overview over the state of democracy in 167 countries, which represent almost entire world.  Countries are evaluated based on about 60 indicators and grouped into four sections: Full democracy, Flawed democracy, Hybrid regimes and Authoritarian regimes.  The first report was published in 2006.  Top 5 and bottom 5 countries in 2010 are shown below.

Top 5

Rank

Overall score I Electoral process and pluralism II Functioning of government Full democracies

III Political participation

IV Political culture

V Civil liberties

Norway

1

9.80

10.00

9.64

10.00

9.38

10.00

Iceland

2

9.65

10.00

9.64

8.89

10.00

9.71

Denmark

3

9.52

10.00

9.64

8.89

9.38

9.71

Sweden

4

9.50

9.58

9.64

8.89

9.38

10.00

New Zealand

5

9.26

10.00

9.29

8.89

8.13

10.00

Bottom 5

Rank

Overall score

I Electoral process and pluralism

II Functioning of government

III Political participation

IV Political culture

V Civil liberties

Myanmar

163

1.77

0.00

1.79

0.56

5.63

0.88

Uzbekistan

164

1.74

0.08

0.79

2.22

5.00

0.59

Turkmenistan

165

1.72

0.00

0.79

2.22

5.00

0.59

Chad

166

1.52

0.00

0.00

0.00

4.38

3.24

North Korea

167

1.08

0.00

2.50

1.67

1.25

0.00

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