Tracking and Calculating the Scores
The index is based on a daily-updated survey of democracy experts run by Authoritarian Warning Survey. A random sub-sample of these experts is polled each day on six sub-components that have represented warning signs in past cases of democratic erosion (Treatment of media, Executive constraints, Elections and treatment of opposition, Civil violence, Civil liberties, and Rhetoric). The Democracy Threat Index averages these responses from the past 60 days, with greater weight given to more recent responses. We also test for discrete breaks in this average that may be caused by major events. If an event is detected, we give even greater weight to post-event responses, as determined by the data.
For greater detail on the survey methodology, see here and follow @AuthWarning.
*Note: Survey results for non-U.S. countries reflect a static snapshot of the situation in June 2017, as viewed by local experts, for comparison purposes only. While the threat scores assess warning signs in each of the varying countries, an equivalent score does not necessarily mean experts see the same likelihood of complete democratic breakdown. For example, despite similar threat scores, experts saw a significantly higher chance of breakdown in Poland than in the U.S. For more information about these comparisons, click here.