By Gevorg Stamboltsian
A new Democracy Index of the World in 2007 published by the British Economist’s Intelligence Unit ranks Armenia 110th among 167 nations around the globe according to its degree of democracy.
According to British analysts, Armenia is among the states with so-called hybrid regimes along with Georgia, Russia and Turkey. Characteristically, this regime type involves elements of both democracy and authoritarianism.
The Economist reviews a number of indexes, grading nations on a 10-point scale.
In particular, Armenia is graded low in terms of its electoral process and pluralism -- only 4.33 -- the same index as for Uzbekistan, Kenya or Singapore. Armenia also has a low score in terms of functioning of government -- 3.13 out of possible 10. It has nearly the same score in terms of political culture. The only index where Armenia is graded relatively high is the level of civil liberties. It turns out that by this index Armenia’s situation is much better than that in neighboring Turkey or, for example, in Russia.
The Economist Intelligence Unit decided to come up with a 2007 watch list. In the negative watch where Armenia is included along with seven other nations, the Economist’s estimation on Armenia is: “parliamentary elections in May 2007 could be highly flawed, tipping the country into an outright authoritarian regime.”
Armenia’s neighbor Azerbaijan is on the Economist list of authoritarian regimes, ranking 129th.
According to British experts, more than half of the world’s population lives in a democracy of some sort, although only 13 percent reside in full democracies. According to the Economist, 55 states have authoritarian regimes today.