Freedom at Issue: Insights on the global struggle for democracy | Freedom House

Freedom at Issue:

Insights on the global struggle for democracy

For the past month, the Chinese authorities have engaged in a sweeping crackdown on human rights lawyers and the broader “rights defense movement” they represent. At last count, over 250 attorneys, law firm staff, family members, and activists across China had been detained or summoned for questioning since July 9. At least 20 remain in custody or are missing. Several of those being held face serious, politically motivated charges that could result in long prison terms.

To promote press freedom in this diverse set of countries, the EU will need to both step up its overall effort and customize its approach to meet the needs of each society.

Data on terrorist attacks indicate that authoritarian countries serve as breeding grounds for global terrorism, and that a more democratic world would also be significantly safer.

Over the past 40 years, peace and democracy has largely replaced dictatorship and conflict in Latin America, to the great benefit of the United States.  This transformation should inspire hope and renewed pressure for change in similarly troubled regions elsewhere in the world.

World Bank and Freedom House data show a strong correlation between democratic institutions and respect for human rights on the one hand, and better conditions for business on the other.

Millions of refugees are fleeing authoritarian rule, not just poverty and conflict. To address the problem, the world’s democracies will have to tackle it at the source.

The government’s decision to reignite the Kurdish conflict is a cynical ploy to recover the ruling party’s parliamentary majority. It is also a disastrous strategic blunder that has drawn in the United States.

A comparison with its democratic neighbors suggests that China would benefit economically from political liberalization.

As the presidential campaign gains steam, Freedom House seeks a renewed U.S. commitment to upholding democracy and human rights overseas, and a fresh appreciation of what can be gained from such a policy.

The ultimate test of the agreement’s success may be whether it creates space for systemic changes that make Iran less threatening, regardless of the technology it possesses. 

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