COVID-19 and Democracy

COVID-19 and Democracy

Elections during COVID-19: Considerations on how to proceed with caution

With more than 70 national elections scheduled for the rest of year worldwide, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is putting into question whether some of these elections will happen on time or at all.  


+ LEER MAS en Español

COVID-19 and Democracy

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is changing how we lead our lives and how political leaders are making decisions at the local, national and global level. 

What does this mean for immediate decisions on elections and how does it shape the adjustments made around governance and emergency powers?  International IDEA provides analysis and commentary on COVID-19 and Democracy, and information on how our democratic rights are affected during health crises and emergencies.



Global overview of COVID-19 : Impact on electiONS

Keep up with the latest changes to the 2020 elections calendar.


Government responses to COVID-19 

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a number of exceptional legal/constitutional responses from governments around the world as they seek extraordinary measures to manage the threat. While there are a series of databases which have been established to track these responses, to understand the situation fully a more nuanced, in-depth expertise is required, and this requires in-country expertise.  Through a partnership with the New Zealand Centre for Public Law at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, the Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University, International IDEA presents a number of video testimonials providing in depth explanations of the legal/constitutional response to COVID-19 in over 40 countries.

View the videos.



The COVID-DEM Infohub has been established to help democracy analysts worldwide track, compile and share information on how state and government responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) are impacting on democratic governance. The COVID-DEM Infohub is an initiative of the global platform Democratic Decay & Renewal (DEM-DEC) and is managed by DEM-DEC Director Tom Daly and his team.  International IDEA is a partner of DEM-DEC.


Global Monitor of COVID-19’s Impact on Democracy and Human Rights

Governments around the world have assembled emergency powers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, at times undermining human rights and democratic processes. A new online platform  will allow policymakers, analysts, journalists and the public to now hold these governments to account.
The Global Monitor of COVID-19’s Impact on Democracy and Human Rights, launched by the European Union and International IDEA, gathers updated information on 162 countries and will harness the global expertise of think-tanks and other organizations to offer “a one-stop shop” with measures taken globally and analysis on how they affect democracy and human rights, from media freedoms to constitutional checks and balances.


INTER PARES: Parliaments’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

Parliaments are the core democratic institutions representing citizens throughout the policy cycle. During a crisis, parliaments must carry out the same functions, but more rapidly, and in often adverse circumstances. Based on a survey of actions taken by parliaments around the world during March 2020, the programme INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership – EU Global Project to Strengthen the Capacity of Parliaments published the Parliaments in Crisis Primer, which explores how parliaments around the world have responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

The project has also conducted a global mapping of parliaments’ different responses to the coronavirus pandemic, collecting and comparing open-source data from 166 parliaments around the world from February to June 15, 2020. 

For further information on how parliaments have adapted to the coronavirus pandemic, follow the updates published regularly on the INTER PARES website, on the Parliamentary Innovation in Times of Crisis page and the INTER PARES Podcast.


Tools and Databases


Contact Us

Seema Shah
Head of Democracy Assessment
Dr Seema Shah is the Head of International IDEA's Democracy Assessment (DA) Unit , which produces a biennial 'Global State of Democracy' report, an annually updated Global State of Democracy Indices and a EU-co-funded Covid-19 Global Monitor on Democracy and Human Rights.