The New Checks and Balances

The Global State of Democracy 2023

Half of all countries saw declines in at least one indicator of democracy over the past five years

Net declines outnumbered net advances for the sixth consecutive year

Broad declines were seen in Representation, Rights and Rule of Law in every region

Limited signs of improvement in the fight against corruption were seen in Africa, Asia and Europe

Courts and independent, regulatory bodies have stepped in where executives and legislatures have weakened

People’s continued engagement will continue to drive progress


This Report was conceptualized and written by the Democracy Assessment team at International IDEA, with inputs from the Global Programmes teams, as well as from Regional Europe, Africa and Western Asia, the Americas, and Asia and the Pacific programmes. It was produced under the supervision of Kevin Casas-Zamora, Seema Shah and Massimo Tommasoli, and it was edited by Alistair Scrutton and Jeremy Gaunt. Emily Bloom, Alexander Hudson, Emma Kenny, Michael Runey, Maria Santillana and Anna Schleiter-Nielsen produced all the graphs in the Report. Lisa Hagman oversaw the publication production process.

Notwithstanding all the generous advice, help and comments received from external partners, International IDEA takes sole responsibility for the content of this Report.