Has the world become more free and secure, or is democracy under attack?
This report aims to answer the question “what is the state of the world today?”, through the provision of a dispassionate, empirically grounded, multi-dimensional overview of international developments. It analyzes dynamics within the socioeconomic, identitary, connectedness, judicial, political, and security domains to capture dynamics in a world in a state of flux.
For each domain the central question is assessed at the level of the individual, at the state, and at the system levels, on the basis of two indicators: whenever possible, one of these indicators is objective in nature and enquires into the actual state (of equality, freedom, security), while the other is subjective in nature and examines how this state is experienced or perceived by individuals.
Our conclusion? The world faces significant increases in, for instance, armed conflict, combat fatalities and illiberal states’ share of international influence. However, human welfare has improved, as well as interconnectivity and democracy. As always, the state of the world is in flux.
This report is part of our upcoming Strategic Monitor 2019-2020.
The research for and production of this report has been conducted within the PROGRESS research framework agreement. Responsibility for the contents and for the opinions expressed, rests solely with the authors and does not constitute, nor should it be construed as, an endorsement by the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.