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Since President Trump’s election, Republicans officials in nearly one-third of the country’s states have lobbied for ways to reduce political dissent.
According to Civicus, a worldwide alliance for citizen participation, those countries with the most open “civic space”—a catchall term for people’s ability to associate, assemble, and express themselves freely—tend to develop more powerful democracies, with citizens scoring higher on international indexes for human development, having more electoral freedom, and lower income inequality.
To keep activists apprised of such shifts, Civicus has created the Civicus Monitor, an interactive map that ranks relative levels of openness in every country around the world. “We believe we are seeing a global emergency on civic space,” Civicus’s General Secretary Danny Sriskandarajah writes.
“Many governments seem to be fearing an independent and vocal civil society, and have been locking up activists who speak out [and] shutting down peaceful protests. . . Now, more than ever, we need an active not suppressed citizenry.”