There is no objective definition that exists to determine which countries in the world are democratic. However, relative degrees of democracy can be established between countries. Some regions that are considered to be the most democratic include Sweden, Iceland and the Netherlands. Countries that are considered to be the least democratic include North Korea, the Central African Republic and Saudi Arabia, notes The Economist.
The Economist ranks countries according to five indicators of what it calls "democratic culture." These indicators include pluralism in the electoral process, the presence or absence of civil liberties, the way government functions, political participation among the masses, and the countries' political cultures.
Using these metrics, The Economist found that Sweden was the most democratic country in the world, with a score of 9.88 out of a possible 10, followed by Iceland, Norway, Netherlands and Denmark. Finishing the top 10-ranked democratic countries are Finland, Luxembourg, Australia, Canada and Switzerland.
Though no single trait links all of these countries, their similarities are clear when compared to the five least democratic countries on the index: North Korea, Central African Republic, Chad, Togo and Myanmar. Japan is the only Asian country in the index to rank as a "full democracy," though such societies are common in Europe and North America.Learn More
The governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. This can be seen in the Declaration of Independence, and it means that the people run the government.Full Answer >
The Iron Curtain included Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, Romania, Poland and Albania. The Iron Curtain symbolized the political separation between Soviet-controlled and nonSoviet areas in Europe, which set the stage for the Cold War.Full Answer >
According to HowStuffWorks, dictators usually come into power during coups d'etats, revolutions or states of emergency. Once in power, dictators use their influence to impose regimes that are often violent and long-lasting.Full Answer >
Countries that are communist as of 2014 are Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, China and Laos. China's communist system is tempered somewhat because it allows private entrepreneurship. Still, the state controls the country's heavy industry and is ruled by the Communist Party of China.Full Answer >