​Changes in the World Since 1994 and Their Implications for the Future AKU

The end of the Cold War and the dawning of the new information age shaped the context in which the earlier Chancellor’s Commission was prepared: it was a relatively self-confident, not to say triumphalist, moment for the West, and many institutions felt emboldened to embrace grand aspirations and expansive time horizons. The unprecedented and accelerating pace of change in the last three decades strongly suggests that planning on a quarter-century horizon is no longer feasible.

Globalisation—abetted by revolutionary developments in information technologies—has altered our horizons in both time and space. The reality of climate change as an urgent challenge of twenty-first century life has highlighted the existential relations of peoples around the globe, with each other and with the planet they inhabit, and raised hard questions about the future of humanity.  In like fashion, the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated how profoundly connected are the peoples of this era, for both good and ill. Indeed, movement of goods, the mobility of people, and rapid transmission of information have transformed virtually all aspects of human activity, not least education.  

Early hopes that globalisation and new information and communication technologies would herald an age of openness, tolerance, and opportunity have faded. True, there have been remarkable benefits associated with the growth of trade and finance, the democratisation of access to information and ideas, and the increasing mobility of human capital. But there have also been deeply troubling features in this age: e.g., widening economic inequality; nationalist, populist, and sectarian backlashes; and manipulative and mischievous uses of information and disinformation. 

In many parts of the world, the era of globalisation is increasingly coming to be viewed as having been little more than a lightly veiled extension of Western imperial hegemony. The decolonisation movement in civil society and education at all levels is a clear response to the associated sense of displacement of autochthonous cultures and institutions. Growing scepticism about the merits of free trade or democratic institutions and increasing moves to undermine and destabilise the global order on the part of both aspiring world powers and local actors alike represent significant challenges to how we understand our world, much less how we articulate and realise the University’s universalistic values. The present Commission, in short, has been convened in a dramatically different time with unanticipated turmoil on many fronts. That said, while the growing complexity and instability of the global landscape urges that prudence temper ambition, it also reveals the abiding importance of AKU’s founding vision and mission.​

Climate Change

Climate change and loss of biodiversity are perhaps the biggest threat to the future of the planet and to humans. Despite repeated warnings and increased awareness since the 1980s, efforts to implement eco-friendly policies, reduce energy consumption, and use renewable sources of energy have proven insufficient: The 2022 Global Sustainable Development Report emphasises that “human influence on the Earth’s climate has become unequivocal, increasingly apparent, and widespread. Current changes in the climate system and those expected in the future will increasingly have significant and deleterious impacts on human and natural systems.”[5] 2020 was the hottest year on record, and one million species are at risk of extinction. 

The “Indicators of Global Climate Change for 2022” report shows that over the 2013–2022 period, human-induced warming has been increasing at an unprecedented rate of over 0.2° C per decade.[6] This has led not only to accelerating increases in temperatures but also to increasing and unpredictable “intensification of many weather and climate extremes, particularly more frequent and more intense hot extremes, and heavy precipitation across most regions of the world.”[7] In addition, as with the melting icecaps and tundra, geophysical feedback loops that mitigated climate change are being disabled.  

The above-noted report no doubt underestimates the severity of the situation because the years under study include the dramatic drop in motor vehicle traffic and industrial emissions during the global economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health measures/restrictions. Little wonder that the authors conclude that this “is a critical decade” given that “human-induced global warming rates are at their highest historical level.”[8] 

Climate change and loss of biodiversity imply not only increased risk in terms of extreme events like heatwaves, cold periods, drought, forest fires, flooding, avalanches, and rising sea levels. These cataclysmic developments also pose major threats to human health and well-being, causing forced migrations, declining food production, water insecurity, disruption of life-sustaining ecosystems, and widening social disparities. 

Given AKU’s substantial presence in and focus on the Global South, it appears inevitable that climate change will have particularly severe impacts on the populations of greatest concern for the University. Increasing aridity, glacial melt, and changes in the Monsoon cycle will reduce access to steady supplies of water for irrigation and farming. Global temperature increases will make many major cities unliveable, and coastal erosion will threaten countless coastal communities. In the decades to come entire populations will lose access to arable land and fresh water, and they will be obliged to relocate to other regions of the planet. Ancient cultures and rhythms of life will be disrupted in situ or left behind as these adverse effects of climate change unfold. Farming and herding practices, traditional construction methods, existing social structures and livelihoods, and community identities will all be threatened. And there will be mass migrations motivated not by politics, economics, or choice, but by survival. 

We are already seeing significant global changes in energy use and resources. The increasing urgency of reducing reliance on hydrocarbons will have profound implications for the current economic-political power of, and funding flowing from, the Gulf States. This alone will have an impact broadly on international relations, economies, and the higher education landscape. 

Global Health: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped the world in unprecedented ways. No country was left unscathed; the pandemic’s impacts were felt in healthcare and education systems, economies, political systems, and civil society. The World Bank estimates that globally some 120 million additional people fell below the poverty line due to the pandemic, with those in low- and lower-middle- income countries especially vulnerable. While elderly and immunocompromised individuals were at highest relative risk from SARS-CoV-2, it has been marginalised populations, women, and girls who bore the greatest cumulative burden from the combined health, economic, and social impacts of the pandemic. 

Since the pandemic first interrupted face-to-face education on campuses all over the world in March 2020, the 220 million students enrolled in 25,000 higher education institutions have faced significant new challenges. The flow of international students dropped dramatically. While many institutions managed to switch to online education very rapidly and did their best to provide continuity in teaching, the digital gap and lack of preparation for online instruction increased educational disparities and created acute social distress, especially among vulnerable students. 

In the medium to long term, COVID-19 is likely to negatively affect learning outcomes, mobility, graduation rates, employability, and job prospects of traditionally underrepresented students across the globe. It is also expected to worsen the already-precarious economic health of many higher education institutions. At the same time, the move to online education—if sustained—offers significant opportunities for transforming the learning experience, whether remote or in person. Curricular and pedagogical practices could be reshaped to promote active, interactive, and experiential education, supported by aligned innovations in assessment and more flexible pathways and qualifications.

More generally, the pandemic has revealed the need for substantial changes in the economic models of higher education systems and institutions to increase their resilience. Systems with higher proportions of public funding have shown that they were less vulnerable to health and economic crises than those relying more on private funding. The pandemic has also stressed the importance of strong IT infrastructure and comprehensive financial aid programmes to protect vulnerable students and foster inclusion.

As COVID so dramatically illustrated, infectious diseases that cross geographical boundaries and exact a substantial toll have already become the norm rather than the exception in recent decades. With advancing climate change and the continued incursion of human settlements on natural habitats, old infectious threats will re-emerge, and new animal-borne diseases will jump to humans. Moreover, as addressed above, climate change poses other threats to the health of populations, with impacts on access to clean water and food, and the adverse effects of hyperthermia on those who are frail or elderly.  

The future of global health will therefore require a much larger number of strong, integrated public health systems, particularly in the Global South, where they must also have the human, technical, and financial resources to protect the most vulnerable. Those human resources include a larger pool of creative scientists and clinicians who can anticipate and deal with ongoing and emerging pathogens with pandemic potential, along with epidemiologists, statisticians, and population health scientists who can both steer responses to the latest infectious threats and promote the broader health and wellbeing of societies in the face of climate change, urbanisation, income inequality, and population aging.  

Global Demographic Shifts

Wholly apart from the impact of climate change and developments in global health, the world has witnessed significant demographic shifts over the past 25 years, influenced by improvements in maternal and child health; better access to health care, nutrition, and education; and both voluntary and forced migration and international mobility patterns.

Changing Age Profiles: The Youth Bulge and Longer Life Expectancies

Globally, a significant ‘youth bulge’ is coming, centred in the regions where AKU operates, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where the bulk of population growth is expected over the next two decades. Between now and 2050, over half of global population growth is expected to occur in Africa, with the population of sub-Saharan Africa projected to double by 2050, even if there is a substantial reduction of fertility levels in the near future.[9] Since the last Chancellor’s Commission report in 1994, Pakistan’s population has grown from 129 million to 240 million in 2023 and is projected to reach 403 million by 2050.[10] The population in Karachi alone has more than doubled, from 8.1 million in 1994 to 17.2 million in 2023.[11]

Societies that harness the tremendous potential of that demographic shift will reap significant social and economic benefits. At the same time, we are beginning to see declining fertility rates in these regions. This can be a positive indicator that parents will be better able to invest in the health and education of all their children. However, it is also a harbinger of the transitory nature of the youth bulge. Increasing life expectancies in the Global South, population movements, and the decline in family members serving as traditional caregivers for the elderly all will require new expertise, policies, and resources to care for aging populations. For AKU in particular, these demographic shifts also have important implications for its ability to have meaningful impact in the societies its serves. 

Changing Geographies: Migration, Diasporas, and Muslim Communities 

Persistence of armed conflict undercuts any optimistic presumptions that the world has become more safe or secure over the last decades. From protracted conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria to the more recent Russian invasion of Ukraine and the collapse of Sudan in civil war, the political situation in many countries and regions remains insecure, with their populations exposed to violence and armed confrontation. Threats from regional and ethnic conflict, growing numbers of displaced communities, increased poverty, growing economic inequality, and rising levels of crime and corruption all combine to put severe pressures on political and social institutions of all kinds.

Indeed, millions of refugees have been forced to flee their countries because of war or poverty—challenges likely to be exacerbated by climate change and environmental disasters, including flooding, soil erosion, and droughts. UNHCR estimated that, at the end of 2020, at least 82.4 million people around the world were forced to flee their homes, more than one in a hundred of all people on the planet. Among them are nearly 26.4 million refugees, half of whom are under the age of 18. The number of internally displaced people [IDPs] reached 48 million. In Africa, the countries hosting the highest numbers of refugees are Ethiopia (659,000) Kenya (551,000), Chad (453,000), Uganda (386,000), Cameroon (264,000) and South Sudan (248,000)—and these figures do not include IDPs.[12] Pakistan has a refugee population of 1.420 million. Worldwide, only about five per cent of college-age refugees have access to higher education. 

In contrast to those displaced, voluntary relocation to different countries or continents has become ever more commonplace over the last three decades of globalisation. This has led to dramatic growth in the size of the South/Central Asian and East African diaspora communities in the Global North. Indeed, many AKU graduates leave Pakistan, especially for North America. 

This mobility has contributed to shifting definitions and boundaries of the “Muslim world”. AKU’s original mission statement made specific reference to “primarily serving the developing world and Muslim societies”. A dozen years later, the first Chancellor’s Commission identified worrying fault lines but could not anticipate the full extent to which contemporary experience in and definitions of the Muslim world and its relationship with the Global North have been reshaped since 1994. 

Since its establishment in 2000, the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations [ISMC] has provided a locus for AKU to address—with a concentrated educational effort as the essential first step—what the Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan, described as the essential problem of a “Clash of Ignorance”, rather than of civilisations or religions, that underpinned relations between the Muslim world and the West.[13] AKU now also has within the AKDN the Global Centre for Pluralism as a potential partner and collaborator on that educational project.

These efforts at promoting understanding remain crucial. But they do not address the reality of demographic shifts that are likely to stretch the boundaries of the Muslim societies that AKU must serve and to multiply Muslim identities in unpredictable ways. While the Asia-Pacific region will remain the home of a majority of the world’s Muslims, the share of the global Muslim population living in Asian countries with large Muslim populations (Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) is projected to decline by nearly 10 per cent between 2010 and 2050. Europe and North America will see their Muslim populations approximately double, to 10.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent of the total population respectively during that same period. Muslim populations in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to more than double, from about 250 million in 2010 to nearly 670 million in 2050, which corresponds to a 24 percent share of the world’s Muslim population, up from 16 percent in 2010.[14] This will inevitably reshape understanding of Muslim societies, prompting debate about geo-political boundaries, as well as differences between Muslim-majority, historically minority and, indeed, entirely new Muslim communities around the world. 

In a world of aging populations and large-scale movements of people around the globe—coupled with the rapid changes in the labour market described below—the traditional linear progression from study to work no longer suffices. This makes life-long learning, upskilling, and re-skilling necessary components of higher education, which in turn represents an important opportunity for AKU. The Commission offers guidance on this issue later in the report.  

Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence

One of the major drivers of human mobility has been the growth of information and communication technologies that both widen global horizons and facilitate sustained connections across continents and oceans. In the coming decades, information technology and artificial intelligence will continue to fundamentally change not only labour markets, or the future of work, but also how, where, and for what purposes universities educate their students. These developments have translated into tremendous changes in the skill sets needed to succeed in the new work landscape: disappearance of existing jobs, emergence of new jobs, and transformation of existing positions.

In many ways, these developments have already been profoundly disruptive and may continue to transform labour markets and the social order. According to a recent, perhaps unduly optimistic, study by the World Economic Forum, by 2025, Artificial Intelligence is expected to automate 75 million jobs globally and create 133 million new jobs in their place.[15] This transformation of the job market presents both challenges and opportunities for workers and employers alike.[16] For Pakistan and the African countries where AKU operates, this evolution represents an opportunity to accelerate the pace towards improved productivity throughout the economy and more efficient and effective service delivery.[17]

For Africa, the World Economic Forum report on employment identified the following high potential sectors as “brain-intensive” rather than capital-intensive: biotechnology, health sciences, creative industries, and new areas of computing. All of these are driven by rapid progress or an intensifying focus on: Artificial Intelligence and machine learning; the Internet of Things, robotics and smart cities; blockchain and distributed ledger technology; autonomous and urban mobility; drones and the airspace of tomorrow; precision medicine; digital commerce; environment and natural resources; data policy; and predictive analytics.[18] 

Ongoing efforts to create green economies in Asia and Africa are likely to further accelerate the use of digital technologies in priority sectors such as education, health, finance, transport, energy, and increasingly, agriculture. The evolution of the skills requirements for both new and existing jobs will not only affect the professional skills in demand but also determine the generic competencies that graduates are expected to possess.[19] In simple terms, universities need to confront a future where facts will be cheap and rote learning pointless. What will be needed are academic programmes that strengthen the unique syncretic and creative skills of the human mind, leading to graduates whose capabilities can be augmented by machine learning and AI, rather than supplanted by algorithms and digital devices. 

Growing Inequality and Shifting Geopolitics

Income inequality will remain a major challenge for human societies in the coming decades. While over a billion persons have been lifted out of extreme poverty since the last Chancellor’s Commission reported, income disparities have also grown rapidly both within and across nations as people have benefited differentially from the rise of the global economy.[20]  This, in turn, has contributed to social cleavages of growing severity. In a world where the richest 10 per cent of the global population owns 52 per cent of the total wealth, while the poorest half has just eight per cent, income inequality translates into power asymmetries that undermine the foundation of democratic societies. Moreover, indebtedness at the global and national levels—particularly in the Global South—exacerbates these inequalities and will constrain investments in human capital and in both education and health systems more broadly. 

Across the world, this growing inequality and alienation has fuelled nationalistic politics, often coupled on the one side with religious extremism and intolerance, and on the other with anti-globalisation and decolonisation movements. To different degrees, these all share a revulsion against a world in which many see themselves left behind as the global elite grows ever richer. Indeed, in its formal, abstract, and mechanical (or perhaps algorithmic) allocation of goods and fortunes, the globalisation of capitalism too often seems to demean or disrespect other important features of human life and community: sociability; art; curiosity; humour; loyalty; time, not spent or managed but simply passed or even relished; and space, not exploited or filled but explored and contemplated.  

The backlash has taken many forms, some explicable, others baffling. It has mobilised those who have not shared in the wealth created by neo-liberal globalisation along with those that live in relative privilege but are convinced that their share is too small. It has animated those on the Left who seek redistribution of wealth and those on the Right who seek to protect their wealth by scaling back the welfare state. Ideologically, there is both heightened polarisation and a common rage at the status quo. 

In the Global North this backlash against the uneven domestic impact of globalisation  encompasses the vote for Brexit in the United Kingdom, the election of Trump in the United States, and the many Occupy movements of the first decades of the twenty-first century.[21] Elsewhere across the globe, the rise of religious extremist movements in the Muslim world, and among Christian fundamentalists, ultraorthodox Jews, and Hindutva in India—along with resurgent nationalism in the far-right parties in South America, and in Russia and China—both reflect growing awareness of the inequality spawned by neoliberal globalisation and fuel the alienation of those who feel themselves disadvantaged in the modern world. The alignment of these religious movements with nativist politics was evident as early as the 1970s but has spread increasingly across Europe and the United States. Nativist politicians have fanned these fires to win elections or consolidate power in authoritarian states. Demonisation and scapegoating become more prevalent, with dire consequences for ethnic minorities and strained external relations. The rise in protectionist, isolationist, and nationalist policies have revealed the limits of, and accordingly dashed the hopes for, a cooperative transnational order in many parts of the world.

The overall decline of democracy reflects this dissatisfaction and disaffection as well; 2021 was the fifteenth consecutive year of decline in global freedom. According to the Democracy Index calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the share of the world population living in full democracies has decreased from 12.3 per cent in 2010 to 6.4 per cent in 2021, resulting from a fall in the number of fully democratic countries from 26 to 21 over the same period, while the number of flawed democracies stayed stable at 53, meaning that five countries fell into the ‘authoritarian’ category.[22​]

Aga Khan University in an Unstable World

There is no doubt, then, that, the geopolitical landscape in which AKU operates today is far more obviously complex and volatile than when the last commission reported in 1994. Since then, AKU has commendably navigated a host of challenges in the wider South/Central Asian and East African contexts in which it operates. Those include the previously identified impacts of climate change, a global pandemic, demographic shifts, rising inequality, and resurgent nationalism. 

Now, however, waning US/European interest and influence in those contexts have been accompanied by a rise in the economic, political, and demographic power of China and India. While China’s Belt and Road initiative expanded across much of Africa, the influence of the Atlantic axis waned, as underscored by the chaotic withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan in 2021. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 upset supply chains already disrupted by COVID, and tensions between the United States and China will likely encourage closer ties between Pakistan and China.

In Pakistan, these shifts and events have led to substantial domestic economic and political turbulence. Pakistan is currently in a severe economic crisis with very high inflation, a currency which has collapsed, and a total lack of foreign currency reserves. AKU will see the consequences of this crisis in even more significant brain drain due to cost-of-living concerns, difficulty in attracting international faculty and staff, and other factors.  The government’s efforts to restore economic equilibrium may lead to increasing reliance on aid from neighbouring China or nearby Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, since the re-establishment of a Taliban government in 2021, AKU and the wider Aga Khan Development Network have faced restrictions on the delivery of health services and education programming by international non-governmental organisations. 

Plans for AKU’s growth in East Africa were premised on the East African Community [EAC] becoming an overarching regional structure. Established in 1999 and headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania, the EAC foreshadowed a new period of harmony in the Great Lakes region, with a common e-passport and freer trade across the six initial member states. However, popular support for integration has waned, particularly in Kenya, which has outsized economic influence in the region. On the ground in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, AKU has faced divergent regulatory regimes and expectations to develop charters and governance arrangements for each locale. 

That latter observation is an appropriate segue to consideration of how higher education is changing in this unsettled period of human history.


[5] United Nations, The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022, 55. Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2022/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2022.pdf.

​[6] P.M. Forster et al, “Indicators of Global Climate Change 2022: annual update of large-scale indicators of the state of the climate system and human influence," Earth System Science Data, 15: 2295–2327, 2023, 2296. Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-15-2295-2023.

[7] Ibid., 2297.

[8] Ibid., 2318.​

[9] See: United Nations, “Global Issues: Population," un.org website. Retrieved August 17, 2023 from: https://www.un.org/en/global-issues/population#:~:text=Our%20growing%20populat​​ion&text=The%20world's%20population%20is%20expected,billion%20in%20the%20mid%2D2080s.

[10] The World Bank, “Population, total – Pakistan," data.worldbank.org website. Retrieved August 21, 2023 from:​https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.TOTL?locations=PK; and UNFPA, “State of the World Population Report provides infinite possibilities for Pakistan," pakistan.unfpa.org website, May 23, 2023. Retrieved August 21, 2023 from: https://pakistan.unfpa.org/en/news/state-world-population-report-provides-infinite-possibilities-pakistan#:~:

[11] Macrotrends, “Karachi, Pakistan Metro Area Population 1950-2023," macrotrends.net website. Retrieved August 21, 2023, from: https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/22044/karachi/population.​​

[12] A. Adepoju, “Migration Dynamics, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa,” UNGA High-Level Summit to Address Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants (September 2022). Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: https://www.un.org/en/academic-impact/migration-dynamics-refugees-and-internally-displaced-persons-africa.​​

[13] His Highness the Aga Khan, upon receiving the "Tolerance" award at the Tutzing Evangelical Academy, Tutzing, Germany, May 20, 2006. Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: https://the.akdn/en/resources-media/resources/speeches/upon-receiving-tolerance-award-tutzing-evangelical-academy.

[14] Pew Research Center, “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050." April 2, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2015/04/02/muslims/.

[15] World Economic Forum, “Machines Will Do More Tasks Than Humans by 2025, but Robot Revolution Will Still Create 50 Million Net New Jobs in the Next Five Years," September 17, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: https://www.weforum.org/press/2018/09/machines-will-do-more-tasks-than-humans-by-2025-but-robot-revolution-will-still-create-58-million-net-new-jobs-in-next-five-years/.

[16] ESEI International Business School, “The Future of Work: How AI is Impacting Jobs and the Labor Market," blog, February 14, 2023. Retrieved July 25, 2023 from: https://www.eseibusinessschool.com/artificial-intelligence-affecting work/#:~:text=On%20the%20other%20hand%2C%20AI,jobs%20that%20require%20different%20skills.

[17] AlphaBeta, Building Skills for the Changing Workforce: AWS Global Digital Skills Study. Commissioned by Amazon Web Services, November 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2023 from: https://assets.aboutamazon.com/45/39/5ab8d17149a1bab0011202552bb6/aws-en-fa-onscn.pdf.

[18] World Economic Forum, “The Future of Jobs and Skills in Africa: Preparing the Region for the Fourth Industrial Revolution," Executive Briefing, May 2017. Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_EGW_FOJ_Africa.pdf.

[19] World Economic Forum, New Vision for Education: Unlocking the Potential of Technology, WEF with the Boston Consulting Group, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEFUSA_NewVisionforEducation_Report2015.pdf.

[20] Z. Quereshi, “Rising inequality: a major issue of our time," Brookings Institution Research, May 16, 2023. Retrieved August 17, 2023 from: https://www.brookings.edu/articles/rising-inequality-a-major-issue-of-our-time/#:~:text=Current%20inequality%20levels%20are%20high,sharp%20increases%20in%20global%20inequality. The United Nations notes that while, for the most part, income inequality between countries has declined, income inequality within countries has worsened, with Today, 71 percent of the world's population living in countries where inequality has grown. See United Nations, “Inequality: Bridging the Divide," Factsheet, February 2020. Retrieved August 17, 2023, from: https://www.un.org/sites/un2.un.org/files/2020/02/un75_inequality.pdf.​​​

[21] See: J. Frieden, “The backlash against globalization and the future of the international economic order," prepared for a Policy Network volume, The Next Phase of Globalisation: Capitalism and Inequality in the Industrialized World, Harvard University, February 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2023 from: https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/jfrieden/files/frieden_future_feb2018.pdf. This “backlash" is not necessarily correlated with a large swing in public opinion against globalisation but is rather a result of its politicisation, as argued in: S. Walter, “The Backlash Against Globalization," Annual Review of Political Science 2021 24:1, 421-442. Retrieved August 16, 2023 from: https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-polisci-041719-102405.​​

[22] Economist Intelligence Unit, Democracy Index 2021: The China Challenge. Retrieved July 26, 2023 from: https://pages.eiu.com/rs/753-RIQ-438/images/eiu-democracy-index-2021.pdf?mkt_tok=NzUzLVJJUS00MzgAAAGMVPKOTsYUBpNDS1MYZBLH2q-vE0-1SbAJNjBB6g7rKXOKNgmnL2EyybBfJere7QfqVjr3gq0Q0Cz9gBWRsBVGdidQ550NpupvUpZeOAXmxYnokw.​​