South Korea's Autocratic Turn: Data

Yoon Suk-yeol has undone South Korea's gains in democratization.

South Korea's Autocratic Turn: Data

Credit: V-Dem Project 2024

The 2024 annual report by the Sweden-based V-Dem Project, one of the largest international data collection projects pertaining to global democracy, has disturbing news for South Korea: the country is one of the leaders in autocratization, a reversal of democratization that the report calls a “bell-turn.” reversal.

Although South Korea remained among the liberal democracies in V-Dem’s Liberal Democracy Index [LDI], its global ranking dropped from 28th in 2022 to 47th in just one year.

The report was unsparing in its assessment of President Yoon Suk-yeol 윤석열: “His recent professional history already showed abuse of power. The change of president set South Korea back on a downward slope. President Yoon Suk-yeol’s coercive measures to punish members of the former Moon administration, along with attacks on gender equality, set South Korea to decrease its LDI levels, forming a bell-turn.”

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