Freedom in the World 2011: The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy | Freedom House

Freedom in the World 2011: The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm

1800 Massachusetts Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20036

Please join us as we release the findings of Freedom in the World 2011, the latest edition of Freedom House’s annual assessment of political and civil rights in every country in the world.
David J. Kramer, Executive Director, Freedom House

Overview of Freedom in the World 2011 Findings:
Arch Puddington, Director of Research, Freedom House
Discussion with:

  • Susan Glasser, Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy


  •  Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
  •  Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
  •  Tom Malinowski, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch
  •  Arch Puddington, Director of Research, Freedom House

The year 2010 featured a series of disturbing events that brought into sharp relief the challenges confronting the partisans of global freedom.  China created an unprecedented international incident over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. In Egypt, patently rigged parliamentary elections resulted in a landslide victory for the ruling party of long-time president Hosni Mubarak.  Elections in Belarus had similar results, on top of unprecedented levels of violence.  Parliamentary supporters of Hugo Chavez pushed through a series of measures to further solidify the current regime’s authoritarian grip in Venezuela.  Making matters worse, the increasing assertiveness of the world’s most powerful authoritarian regimes is matched by a growing inability or unwillingness of the world’s democracies—whether in North America, Europe, India, South Africa, Brazil, or elsewhere—to respond to the challenge.   

As reflected in Freedom in the World 2011, the annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties published by Freedom House, the condition of freedom worsened for the fifth consecutive year during 2010. While the degree of decline for the year was modest, the five-year downward trajectory is the longest period of backsliding since Freedom in the World was first published in 1972, and places in jeopardy earlier gains in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the former communist world that were made in the post–Cold War era.

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