Freedom at Issue:

Insights on the global struggle for democracy

​The Obama administration is preparing to defend its final State Department budget request at a time when democracy and human rights are under serious pressure around the world.

general buhari nigeria

President Buhari at a campaign rally in Nigeria in January 2015. Photo by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (Flickr/Creative Commons).

Mark P. Lagon

The 2016 presidential candidates should think twice before dismissing U.S. financial support for democracy abroad, particularly if they’re looking to save money.

Sarah Cook

During the Lunar New Year that begins next week—the biggest holiday of the Chinese calendar—over a billion people will gather with relatives to enjoy dumplings, lion dances, and sweet red-bean soup. But in recent weeks, as the authorities announced a series of especially harsh charges and sentences against more than a dozen lawyers and activists, the families of some of China’s leading human rights defenders came to realize that they would be spending this New Year—and likely many future holidays—without their loved ones.

leaders for life
Elen Aghekyan

Most of the world’s leaders are chosen through elections, but some attempt to stay in office indefinitely, even if it means bending democratic institutions to their will.

Arch Puddington

Several factors have contributed to the steady erosion of global democracy.

john magufuli tanzania
Kate Hixon

John Magufuli’s first 100 days in office featured symbolic measures to fight graft, but several other pressing problems have yet to be tackled.

Jennifer Dunham
Shannon O’Toole

The year ahead may bring significant changes, for better or worse, to these often-overlooked countries.

Nate Schenkkan

A new report argues that dropping human rights conditions will yield better security ties with Central Asian regimes. But those conditions are largely ignored already, and the results aren't pretty.

Gina S. Lentine

Repeated changes in government over the past year have failed to satisfy Moldovan citizens, who are hoping to uproot systemic corruption that spans the partisan divide. 

Arch Puddington
Bret Nelson

Countries that suffered setbacks to democracy over the past decade outnumber those that experienced improvements, but a closer look at the data reveals a more complicated picture.

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