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The Global State of Democracy 2021: Building Resilience in a Pandemic Era

As part of this global democracy conversation, International IDEA will present the findings from its most recent Global State of Democracy Report, which will be published at the end of November. The report focuses on the key opportunities and challenges to democracy worldwide, and recommendations to address them, globally and across every region of the world. With United States officials and American democracy experts joining in on the discussion around the report findings, it is also an opportunity for International IDEA to make its Global State of Democracy analysis known to a United States audience as well as help inform the discussions of the Summit.

The Global State of Democracy

The Global State of Democracy report is since 2017 International IDEA’s flagship publication on the state of democracy worldwide. The 2021 report includes a global report, which analyzes trends, opportunities and challenges to democracy during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 and provides a set of recommendations to address them. It is accompanied by four regional reports that zoom in on developments in Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Americas, including South, Central and North America. Three thematic reports on lessons learned for electoral processes, the use of emergency powers during the pandemic, and a comparative analysis of pandemic management in different political regimes types, accompany the reports. The reports are underpinned by the Global State of Democracy Indices, a dataset on democratic quality produced by International IDEA, covering 165 countries in the world from 1975 to 2020. It also uses data from IDEA’s Covid-19 Global Monitor on democracy and Human Rights, which assesses the democracy and human rights impacts of measures to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. The reports are aimed to inform the global and regional democracy debates and provide lessons learned and guidance for practitioners, civil society organizations, government officials, and donors of democratic reform on how to strengthen and protect democracy in newer and older democracies.


Moderator: Annika Silva-Leander, Head of North America, International IDEA

Opening remarks by Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General of International IDEA

Presentation of key report findings by Seema Shah, Head of Democracy Assessment, International IDEA


Johnny Walsh, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, USAID

Thomas Carothers, Senior Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Thinzar Shun Lei Yi, Democracy Activist, Myanmar


Damon Wilson, President and CEO of the National Endowment for Democracy

*Individuals noted on any UN sanctions list (United Nations Security Council Consolidated List) or European Union sanctions list are not allowed to participate in any International IDEA events.