International Democracy Day - 15 Sep

Sept. 18, 2017 Weekly Graphs

September 15 is International Democracy Day and of course V-Dem’s favorite day of the year. United Nations highlights this day by presenting a different theme every year. This year’s theme is democracy and conflict prevention and focuses on the critical need to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability. They mention strong leadership to support democracy, strengthen civil society, empower women, and uphold the rule of law as important conditions in order to preserve stability and peace. This week’s graph will look at one of these factors with V-Dem data on the robustness of civil society in different regions of the world.

The V-Dem Core Civil Society Index measures how robust civil society is. Civil society is the public space between the private sphere and the state where citizens organize in groups - civil society organizations (CSOs) - to pursue their collective interests and ideals. A robust civil society enjoys autonomy from the state and citizens can pursue, freely and actively, their political and civic goals. In all the regions – MENA (Middle East and North Africa), Oceania and East Asia – we look at this week civil society has become more robust since the beginning of the 20th century. However, while Oceania has reached a very high level of robustness East Asia and MENA has not come as far.

To find out more about civil society across the globe, use the online analysis tools at


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