Freedom in the World

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Country ratings from Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2013 survey, concerning the state of world freedom in 2012.[1]
  Free (90)   Partly Free (58)   Not Free (47)
   Countries designated "electoral democracies" in Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2014 survey.[2]

Freedom in the World is a yearly survey and report by the U.S.-based[3] non-governmental organization Freedom House that measures the degree of civil liberties and political rights in every nation and significant disputed territories around the world.

Origin and use[edit]

Freedom in the World was launched in 1973 by Raymond Gastil. It produces annual scores representing the levels of political rights and civil liberties in each state and territory, on a scale from 1 (most free) to 7 (least free). Depending on the ratings, the nations are then classified as "Free", "Partly Free", or "Not Free".[4] The report is often used by researchers in order to measure democracy and correlates highly with several other measures of democracy such as the Polity data series.[5]

The Freedom House rankings are widely reported in the media and used as sources by political researchers. Their construction and use has been evaluated by critics and supporters.[6]

Country rankings[edit]

The rankings below are from the Freedom in the World 2010,[7] 2011,[8] 2012,[9] 2013,[1] and 2014[2] surveys and reflect events in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively. Each pair of political rights and civil liberties ratings is averaged to determine an overall status of "Free" (1.0-2.5), "Partly Free" (2.51-5.5), or "Not Free" (5.51-7.0).[10]

An asterisk (*) indicates countries which are "electoral democracies". To qualify as an "electoral democracy", a state must have satisfied the following criteria:

  1. A competitive, multiparty political system;
  2. Universal adult suffrage for all citizens (with exceptions for restrictions that states may legitimately place on citizens as sanctions for criminal offenses);
  3. Regularly contested elections conducted in conditions of ballot secrecy, reasonable ballot security, and the absence of massive voter fraud that yields results that are unrepresentative of the public will; and
  4. Significant public access of major political parties to the electorate through the media and through generally open political campaigning.

Freedom House's term "electoral democracy" differs from "liberal democracy" in that the latter also implies the presence of a substantial array of civil liberties. In the survey, all Free countries qualify as both electoral and liberal democracies. By contrast, some Partly Free countries qualify as electoral, but not liberal, democracies.[10]

Sub-Saharan Africa[edit]

Key: * - Electoral democracies (as described above), PR - Political Rights, CL - Civil Liberties, Free Status: Free, Partly Free, Not Free
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free
 Angola 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Benin* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Botswana* 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free
 Burkina Faso 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly
 Burundi 4 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly
 Cameroon 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Cape Verde* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Central African Republic 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 7 7 Not
 Chad 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Comoros* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
Republic of the Congo Congo, Republic of 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
Democratic Republic of the Congo Congo, Democratic Republic of 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Ivory Coast 6 5 Not 7 6 Not 6 6 Not 5 5 Partly 5 4 Partly
 Djibouti 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Equatorial Guinea 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 Eritrea 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 Ethiopia 5 5 Partly 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Gabon 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Gambia 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Ghana* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Guinea 7 6 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly
 Guinea-Bissau 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Kenya* 4 4 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Lesotho* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 2 3 Free 2 3 Free
 Liberia* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Madagascar 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 5 4 Partly
 Malawi* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Mali 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 7 5 Not 5 4 Partly
 Mauritania 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Mauritius* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Mozambique 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly
 Namibia* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Niger* 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Nigeria 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly
 Rwanda 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 5 Not
 São Tomé and Príncipe* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Senegal* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 2 3 Free 2 2 Free
 Seychelles* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Sierra Leone* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 2 3 Free 3 3 Partly
 Somalia 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 South Africa* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 South Sudan 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Sudan 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 Swaziland 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not
 Tanzania* 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Togo 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Uganda 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 6 4 Partly
 Zambia* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Zimbabwe 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 5 6 Not

Americas[edit]

Key: * - Electoral democracies (as described above), PR - Political Rights, CL - Civil Liberties, Free Status: Free, Partly Free, Not Free
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free
 Antigua and Barbuda* 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Argentina* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Bahamas* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Barbados* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Belize* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Bolivia* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Brazil* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Canada* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Chile* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Colombia* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Costa Rica* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Cuba 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Dominica* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Dominican Republic* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 3 Free
 Ecuador* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 El Salvador* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free
 Grenada* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Guatemala* 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Guyana* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free
 Haiti 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly
 Honduras* 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Jamaica* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free
 Mexico* 2 3 Free 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Nicaragua 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 3 Partly
 Panama* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Paraguay* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Peru* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free
 Saint Kitts and Nevis* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Saint Lucia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines* 2 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Suriname* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Trinidad and Tobago* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 United States* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Uruguay* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Venezuela 5 4 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly

Asia-Pacific[edit]

Key: * - Electoral democracies (as described above), PR - Political Rights, CL - Civil Liberties, Free Status: Free, Partly Free, Not Free
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free
 Afghanistan 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Australia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Bangladesh* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Bhutan* 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Brunei 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Burma (Myanmar) 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 6 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Cambodia 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 China (PRC) 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 East Timor* 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 Fiji 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly
 India* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free
 Indonesia* 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 3 Free 2 4 Partly
 Japan* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 1 Free
 Kiribati* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 North Korea 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 South Korea* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Laos 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Malaysia 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Maldives 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Marshall Islands* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
Federated States of Micronesia Micronesia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Mongolia* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Nauru* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
   Nepal* 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 New Zealand* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Pakistan* 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly
 Palau* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Papua New Guinea* 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Philippines* 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Samoa* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Singapore 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Solomon Islands 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly
 Sri Lanka 4 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly
 Taiwan* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Thailand* 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
 Tonga* 5 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Tuvalu* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Vanuatu* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Vietnam 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 7 5 Not

Central and Eastern Europe/Eurasia[edit]

Freedom House's categorization dates from the Cold War era, when this publication was first issued, consequently this group corresponds to the part of Europe that was politically located east of the Iron Curtain, (i.e. the successor states to the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and the former Warsaw Pact countries). Similarly, "Western Europe" corresponds to the countries west of the former Iron Curtain (including Greece and Turkey).

Key: * - Electoral democracies (as described above), PR - Political Rights, CL - Civil Liberties, Free Status: Free, Partly Free, Not Free
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free
 Albania* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Armenia 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 6 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly
 Azerbaijan 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not
 Belarus 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Bosnia and Herzegovina* 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Bulgaria* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Croatia* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Czech Republic* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Estonia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Georgia* 4 4 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Hungary* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Kazakhstan 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Kosovo 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly
 Kyrgyzstan 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly
 Latvia* 2 1 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Lithuania* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Macedonia* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Moldova* 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly
 Montenegro* 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free 3 2 Free
 Poland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Romania* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Russia 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Serbia* 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Slovakia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Slovenia* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Tajikistan 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Turkmenistan 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 Ukraine* 3 2 Free 3 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly 4 3 Partly
 Uzbekistan 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not

Western Europe[edit]

Freedom House's categorization dates from the Cold War era, when this publication was first issued, consequently "Western Europe" corresponds to the part of Europe that was politically West of the Iron Curtain, i.e. the European members of NATO (including Turkey and Greece) plus Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Cyprus, Sweden and Finland. Countries formerly located east of the Iron Curtain are grouped by Freedom House as "Eastern Europe".

Key: * - Electoral democracies (as described above), PR - Political Rights, CL - Civil Liberties, Free Status: Free, Partly Free, Not Free
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free
 Andorra* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Austria* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Belgium* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Cyprus* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Denmark* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Finland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 France* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Germany* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Greece* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Iceland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Ireland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Italy* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 1 Free 2 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Liechtenstein* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Luxembourg* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Malta* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Monaco* 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free 2 1 Free
 Netherlands* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Norway* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Portugal* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 San Marino* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Spain* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Sweden* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
  Switzerland* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free
 Turkey* 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 3 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly
 United Kingdom* 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 1 Free

Middle East and North Africa[edit]

Key: * - Electoral democracies (as described above), PR - Political Rights, CL - Civil Liberties, Free Status: Free, Partly Free, Not Free
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free
 Algeria 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Bahrain 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Egypt 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not
 Iran 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Iraq 5 6 Not 5 6 Not 5 6 Not 6 6 Not 5 6 Not
 Israel* 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Jordan 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Kuwait 4 4 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly
 Lebanon 5 3 Partly 5 3 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly
 Libya* 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 6 Not 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly
 Morocco 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly 5 4 Partly
 Oman 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Qatar 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Saudi Arabia 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 Syria 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 Tunisia* 7 5 Not 7 5 Not 3 4 Partly 3 4 Partly 3 3 Partly
 United Arab Emirates 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 Yemen 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not

Related and disputed territories[edit]

Key: - Related territory, - Disputed territory, PR - Political Rights, CL - Civil Liberties, Free Status: Free, Partly Free, Not Free
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Country PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free PR CL Free
 Abkhazia‡ (Georgia) 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly
 Gaza Strip‡ (PA) 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Hong Kong† (China) 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly 5 2 Partly
India Kashmir‡ (India) 4 4 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly 4 4 Partly
Pakistan Kashmir‡ (Pakistan) 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Nagorno-Karabakh‡ (Armenia/Azerbaijan) 5 5 Partly 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 5 5 Partly 5 5 Partly
 Northern Cyprus‡ (Cyprus) 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free 2 2 Free
 Puerto Rico† (USA) 1 1 Free 1 1 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free 1 2 Free
 Somaliland‡ (Somalia) 5 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly 4 5 Partly
 South Ossetia‡ (Georgia) 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 6 Not
 Tibet ‡ (China) 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not
 Transnistria‡ (Moldova) 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not 6 6 Not
 West Bank‡ (PA) 6 6 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not 6 5 Not
 Western Sahara‡ (Morocco) 7 6 Not 7 6 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not 7 7 Not

Trends[edit]

Percentage of countries in each category, from the 1973 through 2014 reports:

Freedom in the World graph 1973-2014.svg 1973 - 2014

  Not Free
  Partly Free
  Free

Year
Free
Partly
Free
Not
Free
Electoral
Democracies
1975 41 (27%) 48 (32%) 63 (41%) --
1980 51 (32%) 54 (33%) 56 (35%) --
1985 53 (32%) 59 (35%) 55 (33%) --
1990 61 (37%) 44 (26%) 62 (37%) 69 (41%)
1995 76 (40%) 61 (32%) 54 (28%) 113 (59%)
2000 85 (44%) 60 (31%) 47 (25%) 120 (63%)
2005 89 (46%) 54 (28%) 49 (26%) 119 (62%)
2010 89 (46%) 58 (30%) 47 (24%) 116 (60%)
2011 87 (45%) 60 (31%) 47 (24%) 115 (59%)
2012 87 (45%) 60 (31%) 48 (25%) 117 (60%)
2013 90 (46%) 58 (30%) 47 (24%) 117 (60%)
2014 88 (45%) 59 (30%) 48 (25%) 122 (63%)


Sources: Country Status and ratings overview 1973-2014,[11] Number and percentages of electoral democracies 1989-2014[12]

Notes:

  • The years shown in the map and table above are the year the survey was released, the data shown covers the prior calendar year.
  • The chart and table above do not include data for related/disputed territories.

Evaluation[edit]

There is some debate over the neutrality of Freedom House and the methodology used for the Freedom in the World report, which has been written by Raymond D. Gastil and his colleagues.[4] The neutrality and biases of human-rights indices have been discussed in several publications by Kenneth A. Bollen.[13] Bollen wrote that, "no criticisms ... have demonstrated a systematic bias in all the ratings. Most of the evidence consists of anecdotal evidence of relatively few cases. Whether there is a systematic or sporadic slant in Gastil's ratings is an open question" (Bollen, 1986, p. 586).[4] The freedom index of Freedom in the World has a very strong and positive (at least an 80%) correlation with three other democracy-indices studied in Mainwaring (2001, p. 53).[14]

Ideological bias or neutrality[edit]

In his 1986 study, Bollen discussed reviews of measurements of human rights, including the index reported in Freedom in the World (Bollen, 1986, p. 585). Criticisms of Freedom in the World during the 1980s were discussed by Gastil (1990), who stated that "generally such criticism is based on opinions about Freedom House rather than detailed examination of survey ratings", a conclusion disputed by Giannone.[15] The definition of Freedom in Gastil (1982) and Freedom House (1990) emphasized liberties rather than the exercise of freedom, according to Adam Przeworski, who gave the following example: In the United States, citizens are free to form political parties and to vote, yet even in presidential elections only half of U.S. "citizens" vote; in the U.S., "the same two parties speak in a commercially sponsored unison", wrote Przeworski (2003, p. 277).[6]

More recent charges of ideological bias prompted Freedom House to issue this 2010 statement:

Freedom House does not maintain a culture-bound view of freedom. The methodology of the survey is grounded in basic standards of political rights and civil liberties, derived in large measure from relevant portions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These standards apply to all countries and territories, irrespective of geographical location, ethnic or religious composition, or level of economic development.[10]

Mainwaring et alia (2001, p. 52)[14] wrote that Freedom House's index had "two systematic biases: scores for leftist were tainted by political considerations, and changes in scores are sometimes driven by changes in their criteria rather than changes in real conditions." Nonetheless, when evaluated on Latin American countries yearly, Freedom House's index were very strongly and positively correlated with the index of Adam Przeworski and with the index of the authors themselves: They evaluated Pearson's coefficient of linear correlation between their index and Freedom House's index, which was 0.82; among these indices and the two others studied, the correlations were all between 0.80 and 0.86 (Mainwaring et alia, 2001, p. 53).[14]

As previously quoted, Bollen criticized previous studies of Freedom in the World as anecdotal and inconclusive; they raised issues needing further study by scientific methods rather than anecdotes.[4] Bollen studied the question of ideological bias using multivariate statistics. Using their factor-analytic model for human-rights measurements, Bollen and Paxton estimate that Gastil's method produces a bias of 0.38 standard deviations (s.d.) against Marxist–Leninist countries and a larger bias, 0.5 s.d., favoring Christian countries; similar results held for the methodology of Sussman (Bollen and Paxton, 2000, p. 585).[16] In contrast, another method by a critic of Freedom in the World produced a bias for Leftist countries during the 1980s of at least 0.8 s.d., a bias that is "consistent with the general finding that political scientists are more favorable to leftist politics than is the general population" (Bollen and Paxton, p. 585).[16]

Use and conceptual analysis[edit]

Criticisms of the reception and uses of the Freedom in the World report have been noted by Diego Giannone:[17]

  • "Conceptual stretching", Giovanni Sartori's critical term for a methodological shortcoming common in social studies.[18] Giannone reports as an example that, according to Landman and Hausermann (2003), "the index by FH has been used as a tool for measuring democracy, good governance, and human rights, thus producing a conceptual stretching which is a major cause of 'losses in connotative precision': in short, an instrument used to measure everything, in the end, is not able to discriminate against anything."[19]
  • Issues with aggregation. Giannone quotes Scoble and Wiseberg's conclusion (1981) that "the sum of a civil liberty score of 4 and a political liberty score of 2 is the same as the sum of a civil liberty score of 2 and a political liberty score of 4 even though the substantive interpretation of these different combinations is different."[20]
  • "Lack of specificity and rigorousness in construction" and "inadequate level of transparency and replicability of the scales", the first referencing to Scoble et alie (1981) and the latter to Hadenius and Teorell (2005).[21] In support of the latter, he also quotes the conclusion of Munck and Verkuilen (2002) that "the aggregate data offered by Freedom House has to be accepted largely on faith",[22] due to the factors that "no set of coding rules is provided, and the sources of information are not identified with enough precision, and because disaggregated data have not been made available to independent scholars".[21]

Time series[edit]

See also: Panel study and Time series

In "Political and ideological aspects in the measurement of democracy: the Freedom House case" (2010) which reviewed changes to the methodology since 1990, Diego Giannone concluded that "because of the changes in methodology over time and the strict interconnection between methodological and political aspects, the FH data do not offer an unbroken and politically neutral time series, such that they should not be used for cross-time analyses even for the development of first hypotheses. The internal consistency of the data series is open to question."[23]

On this topic, the Freedom House website replies that they have "made a number of modest methodological changes to adapt to evolving ideas about political rights and civil liberties. At the same time, the time series data are not revised retroactively, and any changes to the methodology are introduced incrementally in order to ensure the comparability of the ratings from year to year."[10]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Freedom in the World 2013, Freedom House, 11 January 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom House, 24 January 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  3. ^ William Ide (January 11, 2000). "Freedom House Report: Asia Sees Some Significant Progress". Voice of America. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d Bollen, K.A., "Political Rights and Political Liberties in Nations: An Evaluation of Human Rights Measures, 1950 to 1984", Human Rights Quarterly, vol.8, no.4 (November 1986), pp.567-591. Also in: Jabine, T.B. and Pierre Claude, R. (Eds.), Human Rights and Statistics, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992, pp.188-215, ISBN 0-8122-3108-2.
  5. ^ “Correlation Versus Interchangeability: the Limited Robustness of Empirical Finding on Democracy Using Highly Correlated Data Sets", Gretchen Casper and Claudiu Tufis, Political Analysis, 11:2 (2003), pp.196-203, Society for Political Methodology
  6. ^ a b Przeworski, Adam (2003). "Freedom to choose and democracy". Economics and Philosophy (Cambridge University Press) 19: 265–279. doi:10.1017/S0266267103001159. 
  7. ^ Freedom in the World 2010: Tables and Graphs, Freedom House, 8 January 2010, 12 pp.
  8. ^ "Tables, Graphs, and Other Supporting Documents", Freedom in the World 2011, Freedom House, 13 January 2011.
  9. ^ Freedom in the World 2012, Freedom House, 10 January 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d "Freedom in the World 2010: Methodology", Freedom in the World 2010, Freedom house
  11. ^ "Country Status and ratings overview", Freedom In the World 1973-2014, Freedom House, 16 January 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Number and percentages of electoral democracies", Freedom In the World 1973-2014, Freedom House, 16 January 2014. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  13. ^ Bollen has held chairs as a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Howard W. Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Also serving as an Adjunct Professor of Statistics at UNC-CH, Bollen wrote the leading graduate textbook in structural equation models (SEM), often called LISREL models; SEM modeling allows the summary of a large number of measurements using a small number of meaningful factors. SEM was used by Bollen in the studies reported hereafter.
  14. ^ a b c Mainwaring, S.; Brinks, D.; Pérez-Liñán, A. B. (2001). "Classifying Political Regimes in Latin". Studies in Comparative International Development 36 (1): 37–65. doi:10.1007/BF02687584.  edit
  15. ^ Gastil, R. D. (1990). "The Comparative Survey of Freedom: Experiences and Suggestions". Studies in Comparative International Development 25 (1): 25–50. doi:10.1007/BF02716904.  edit
  16. ^ a b Bollen, Kenneth A. and Paxton, Pamela, "Subjective Measures of Liberal Democracy", Comparative Political Studies, vol.33, no.1 (February 2000), pp.58-86
  17. ^ Giannone, Diego, "Political and ideological aspects in the measurement of democracy: the Freedom House case", Democratization, vol.17, no.1 (February 2010), pp.68-97.[unreliable source?]
  18. ^ "Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics." The American Political Science Review 64 (4): 1033-1053.
  19. ^ Giannone (2010), p. 69. Quoting Landman, Tod, and Julia Hausermann, Map-Making and Analysis of the Main International Initiatives on Developing Indicators on Democracy and Good Governance, Final Report, University of Essex - Human Rights Centre, July 2003, 98 pp.
  20. ^ Scoble, Harry and Laurie Wiseberg, Ved Nanda, Ved, James Scarritt, and George Shepherd (eds) (1981), "Problems of Comparative Research in Human Rights", Global Human Rights: Public Policies, Comparative Measures and NGO Strategies, pp.147-171, Westview Press, Boulder, CO, ISBN 978-0-89158-858-0. Cited in Giannone (2010), p. 69.
  21. ^ a b Giannone (2010), p. 69, citing Scoble, et alie (1981) and Axel Hadenius and Jan Teorell. "Assessing Alternative Indices of Democracy", Political Concepts, Committee on Concepts and Methods, Working Paper Series, August 2005, 47 pp.
  22. ^ Munck, Gerardo L. and Verkuilen, Jay, "Conceptualising and Measuring Democracy: Evaluating Alternative Indices", Comparative Political Studies, vol.35, no.1 (February 2002), pp.5-34. Cited in Giannone (2010), p. 69.
  23. ^ Giannone (2010), p. 68.

References[edit]

  • Bollen, Kenneth A. (1991), Inkeles, Alex, ed., "On measuring democracy: Its consequences and concomitants", Proceedings of the Conference on Measuring Democracy, 27–28 May 1988, Hoover Institution, Stanford University (second printing, 1993 ed.) (New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Transactions Publishers): 3–20, ISBN 0-88738-881-7  |chapter= ignored (help)
  • Gastil, Raymond Duncan (1991), Inkeles, Alex, ed., "On measuring democracy: Its consequences and concomitants", Proceedings of the Conference on Measuring Democracy, 27–28 May 1988, Hoover Institution, Stanford University (second printing, 1993 ed.) (New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Transactions Publishers): 21–46, ISBN 0-88738-881-7  |chapter= ignored (help)
  • Inkeles, Alex, ed. (1991), "On measuring democracy: Its consequences and concomitants", Proceedings of the Conference on Measuring Democracy, 27–28 May 1988, Hoover Institution, Stanford University (second printing, 1993 ed.) (New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Transactions Publishers): 1–121, ISBN 0-88738-881-7  |chapter= ignored (help)

External links[edit]