Autocratization in Hungary and Turkey

Dec. 14, 2018 Weekly Graphs

Over the last decade democracy has been on the decline around the world. In 2018, approximately one third of the world’s population lives in countries that are undergoing autocratization. The global turn away from democracy has been the subject of numerous commentaries and analyses, but how do we measure the presence, quality, or decline of democracy? The V-Dem project distinguishes between five high-level principles of democracy: electoral, liberal, participatory, deliberative, and egalitarian, and collects data to measure these principles. Using this data V-Dem provides a detailed insight about the degree of democratization in 201 countries. 

For this Graph of the Week we used the Country Radar Chart tool to compare Hungary and Turkey in terms of V-Dem’s five high-level principles of democracy. Both Hungary and Turkey have undergone a process of autocratization during the last several years, as the graph reflects. However, the comparison between the two countries shows that a decline in democratization can manifest in very different ways. In the case of Hungary we see an almost equal decrease across every democratic principle. By contrast the retreat of democracy is more uneven in Turkey. In particular, the decline of liberal democracy has been the major driver of autocratization in Turkey. These graphs illustrate the strength of V-Dem’s five-principles concept which provides a more nuanced measure of democracy compared to other data sets. In addition, the contrast between Turkey and Hungary is a reminder that autocratization does not occur in the same way in every country. 

To learn more about our five high-level principles of democracy, please visit


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