24 January, 2012

Middle East Democracy Index 2011

The Economists magazine has released its Democracy Index for 2011 report. It is a comprehensive assessment for 165 independent countries plus 2 territories. Below, from the same report, is a screenshot of the Economist's Comparative data for the Middle East and North Africa:


Although some Middle East countries might have done well according to the above comparative chart, when it comes to democracy - whether elections are free and fair, whether civil liberties are respected, and whether the political culture allows democracy in the fullest sense to flourish - almost all Middle Eastern countries are very lowly ranked: Tunisia - 92, Lebanon - 94, Palestine - 99, Mauritania - 109, Iraq - 112, Egypt - 115, Jordan - 118, Morocco - 119, Kuwait - 122, Libya - 125, Algeria - 130, Oman - 134, Qatar - 138, Bahrain - 144, Djibouti - 147, UAE - 149, Yemen - 150, Sudan - 153, Syria - 157 and Saudi Arabia - 161. Note: depending on a country's ranking, each country is placed, in the report, into one of four categories: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime or authoritarian regime. Most Middle Eastern countries, according to the report, fall under the last category.