'Democracy under pressure': IES researcher contributes to global study of democratization and governance reform

The German Bertelsmann Stiftung has today released its updated Transformation Index (BTI 2018). Every second year, the BTI measures political and economic progress in 129 transformation countries around the world and belongs to the most detailed comparative country analyses.

IES researcher Jan Claudius Völkel serves as the BTI’s Regional Coordinator Middle East & North Africa, and is hence responsible for the detailed assessment of 19 MENA countries, which stretch from Morocco in the West to Iran in the East, and from Turkey in the North to Sudan in the South. For this, he has organised and supervised the conduct of independent analyses by two renowned experts per country. The findings are worrying: overall, democracy has reached its lowest level ever in the MENA region, only Tunisia has stabilised its achievements since the 2011 revolution.

Of particular concern have been the developments in Turkey: formerly the by far most democratic country in the region, it has massively lost many of its credits since the governmental crackdown in response to the failed putsch attempt in July 2016. It is only the fifth well-governed country in the MENA region now, according to the BTI evaluation.

Summarising regional surveys, an extensive database and detailed reports for all 129 countries can be downloaded free of charge. Bertelsmann Stiftung’s official press release can be found here.