Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them
Research Feb 02, 2024

Democracy Sustainability Barometer 2023


This study presents the Democratic Sustainability Barometer, an index comprising four intermediary indexes. These indexes measure different dimensions of public evaluation of democracy, namely the perception of elements of liberal democracy, the support for the active defence of democracy by means of protests, satisfaction with democracy in Lithuania, and trust in Lithuania’s state institutions.

The value of the 2023 Democratic Sustainability Index is 55.8 (theoretical maximum – 100). It has increased slightly compared to the 2022 value (53.5), but this is not a statistically significant change, and part of the increase is due to new aspects of the measurement of satisfaction with democracy: we have observed that citizens are relatively more satisfied with democratic rights than with representation. We confirm the findings of the first study: In Lithuania, the sustainability of democracy at the sociological level is above the theoretical average. The value of the index is again undermined by a lack of trust in political institutions and dissatisfaction with the practical functioning of democracy in Lithuania, particularly with institutions’ responsiveness to the public.

The survey also calculates the Index of Resilience to Eastern Propaganda, comprising three intermediary indexes that measure the perception of threat from Russia and the resilience to economic and political narratives pushed by the propaganda of the authoritarian regimes in Russia and China. The average value of this index this year is 59.5 (58.8 in 2022). This indicates an above-average resilience to Eastern propaganda among Lithuanian residents.

The perception of threat from Russia remains fairly high. Lithuanian residents’ resilience is the lowest with respect to the economic narratives, in which the regimes of Russia and China extol the benefits of cooperating with them. On the other hand, the results of the survey experiment show that Lithuanians generally prioritise cooperation with democratic countries. Among the social indicators, the biggest influence on resilience is the perception of the Soviet era: if all Lithuanians had a negative perception of the Soviet era (compared to today), society’s resilience to Eastern propaganda would be even higher.

The publication can be found in English HERE.

Mažvydas Jastramskis is an Associate Professor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University. His research focuses on electoral behaviour, political institutions and democratic issues.