Democracy or autocracy: which mode people from different countries think are the best?

Democracy or autocracy: which mode people from different countries think are the best?

Over the past few years the attitude of political regimes and different forms of government worldwide has changed somewhat. There is an explanation – heating up the international situation, military threats, the redistribution of spheres of economic influence of a natural disaster. All these issues need to be addressed and, at times, a strong leader of the autocratic state, nor the government of a democratic country can not properly respond to the threat and deal with it. The result – loss of confidence, of public support.

A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, shows how different people’s attitudes to the political regime of the country. We can safely say that today support a democratic model of governance coexists with the open support of undemocratic political regimes. Although in each country where the survey was conducted, almost half of the population is in favour of democracy, the level of trust of people to the autocratic form of government is growing.

Democracy or autocracy: which mode people from different countries think are the best?

In Europe, where autocratic rule had had very disastrous consequences in the past (remember even Adolf Hitler), and where in recent decades actively inculcated democratic values, the support of autocracy are pretty small, although not without exceptions. For example, in Germany 93% of the citizens believe that autocracy (when a leader has the ability to make decisions single-handedly without the participation of the government, the courts and other authorities) is a «road to nowhere». At the same time, the number of people who consider authoritarian regimes more effectively increased in the UK and Italy (more than a quarter of the population in each country support the theory of a «strong leader»). In Russia to give power into the hands of the autocrat are willing, 48% of citizens (although it is not surprising, given the history of the country). Autocracy is traditionally welcomed in Asia (in Indonesia 52% of the population in favor of this form of government, in India – 55%, in Vietnam – 42%, Japan – 32%). In the United States to support a strong leader of the country is ready, only 22% of the population.

If you generalize the obtained data, it turns out that the autocracy began to support more actively in those countries in which the leaders strengthened their positions in recent years. In addition to Russia, these include Philippines and Turkey.

Democracy or autocracy: which mode people from different countries think are the best?

Democracy, autocracy, or military dictatorship? Opinions were divided…

By the Pew Research Center study establishes the following pattern: in the rich developed countries and those countries where democracy already exists and works in the most complete accordance with it is more readily inclined to use the democratic form of government; the inhabitants of underdeveloped countries where there are problems with the level of education and developed an ideology over which no need to worry, but to be followed – prefer undemocratic alternative forms of government.

At the same time, there are some differences in the characteristics of democracy as such. So, according to the study, more than half support the democratic form of government tend to direct democracy, not representative, in which the major state issues are resolved by the people on the ballot, not his representatives in Parliament.

Similarly, there are specific characteristics of the «perfect» autocracy. Residents of countries that support this form of government, more inclined to obey not just the leader or group of leaders, and the group of experts with the necessary education and experience to govern the country. This type of autocracy or a meritocracy called «the power worthy». In USA such a political regime would be willing to consider only 40% of the population in Europe is 43%.

In the US the attitude to autocracy differs from the representatives of various political forces. So, 1/3 of Republicans believed that the country has to manage a strong leader, without the intervention of the representative bodies. The same view is shared by only 17% of Democrats and 20% of independent respondents.

The military the government (military dictatorship) around the world there are less than others, but there are countries where more than half the population ready to vote for it. It’s Vietnam, Indonesia, India and South Africa. To the great surprise of researchers, even in developed democracies like USA, Italy and France, this form of government finds its share of support — 17% of the population. Thus they argue that the military dictatorship give preference to most people with a low level of education.

Democracy or autocracy: which mode people from different countries think are the best?

Factors influencing people’s perceptions of democracy and autocracy

Interesting seems the analysis of the commitment to democratic governance from the standpoint of job satisfaction this model in your state. In 26 of the 38 countries in which the survey was conducted, people who are satisfied with their democracy, are more likely to vote in favor of representative democracy, not direct. In turn, the level of satisfaction differs significantly between regions, countries and even within countries. There are several reasons. This and the differences in economic development in the war situation, level of education, level of living etc.

On average, about 46% of respondents from democratic States are satisfied with how democracy works in their country, while 52% are not satisfied. The lowest level of satisfaction observed among the inhabitants of Mexico, and Lebanon (9 of 10 citizens of these countries appreciate the work of democracy as «unsatisfactory»). Support for the current political system is strongest in the Asia-Pacific region and in Africa South of the Sahara, and the least strong in Latin America. In Europe opinions differ widely across countries. 7 out of 10 residents of Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany are satisfied with their democracy. At the same time, 2/3 or more of the residents of Italy, Spain and Greece – countries which in recent decades has experienced considerable economic difficulties — are dissatisfied with democracy in their state.

Democracy or autocracy: which mode people from different countries think are the best?

Experts argue that the degree of satisfaction with the political regime and form of government depends on the approval and trust to the current national government. The smaller the confidence level, the worse people appreciate the work of democracy. While only 14% of the population of the countries covered in the study trusted their government.

The relationship is also noted between the level of economic development of the country and the approval of the current form of government, as well as an evaluation of the work of the government. In States where people see the active development of the economy, the current form of government, and the government estimated the vast majority of people, as effective. In 23 countries, representative democracy is seen as ineffective by a majority of those who believes that over the past 50 years, economic conditions in the country deteriorated significantly and the majority of those who believe that in the future the situation will become even harder.

In the US, on average, 46% of the population are satisfied with how democracy works, and 51 per cent were dissatisfied. Depending on the political power, the vote was as follows: 68% of Republicans, 31% Democrats and 49% of independent respondents approve of that democratic model that exists and works today in America.

The survey was conducted by Pew Research Center among 41 953 respondents in 38 countries from February 16 to may 8, 2017.


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