The world’s authoritarian regimes understand that domestic repression alone will not ensure their survival. Over the past two decades, they have extended their influence beyond their own borders in an attempt to silence critics, subvert democratic governments, and reshape international norms and institutions to serve their own interests.
Freedom on the Net
Advances in artificial intelligence are increasing the scale, speed, and efficiency of digital repression. Explore Freedom on the Net 2023: The Repressive Power of Artificial Intelligence.
Freedom House’s current work on authoritarian reach has two main areas: transnational repression, and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) information influence abroad.
Freedom House is a leading authority on transnational repression, or the targeting of exiles and diasporas by the state they left behind. Freedom House mapped the global scale and scope of transnational repression in its 2021 report Out of Sight, Not Out of Reach. Its newest report, Defending Democracy in Exile, focuses on how host states can better protect exiles and diasporas within their borders through reforms in law enforcement, security services, and migration.
Freedom House has been closely monitoring Chinese Communist Party information influence for over a decade through the China Media Bulletin and a series of special reports, including the 2020 Beijing’s Global Megaphone. Freedom House is expanding this research through a new project on Beijing’s Global Media Influence. The project will document how the CCP, Chinese state media, and related actors exert influence on media and news consumption in 30 countries worldwide, as well as the degree of local resilience to the covert, corrupt, and coercive dimensions of Beijing’s information influence.
Nations in Transit
Nations in Transit measures progress and setbacks in democratization in 29 countries from Central Europe to Central Asia. In 2023, Democracy Scores declined in 11 out of the 29 countries, yet civic activists and democratic leaders continued to strive for better governance across the diverse region. Explore the latest edition of Nations in Transit.
Freedom in the World
Around the world, the enemies of liberal democracy are accelerating their attacks, contributing to the 17th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. Explore the latest edition of Freedom in the World 2023: Marking 50 Years in the Struggle for Democracy to learn more about the latest global trends.
Free Them All: A Political Prisoners Initiative
Free Them All: A Political Prisoners Initiative is a new Freedom House project intended to help free political prisoners and push back against the jailing of activists as a tool of repression. Located around the globe, the stories of these artists, journalists, and activists illustrate the significant pressures and harms that human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists face in reprisal for their work and why they need our support.
Beijing’s Global Media Influence
New Report: Authoritarian Expansion and the Power of Democratic Resilience
Our latest report, Beijing’s Global Media Influence: Authoritarian Expansion and the Power of Democratic Resilience, offers the most comprehensive assessment to date of Beijing’s global media influence and the ways in which democracies are responding.
Beijing’s Global Media Influence Methodology
More on the research, country selection, and scoring for Freedom House’s BGMI report.
Governments, media outlets, civil society, and technology firms all have an essential role to play in protecting freedom of expression and access to information in the face of increasingly aggressive Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence efforts, while ensuring adherence to democratic norms and international human rights standards. Read more on Freedom House's global policy recommendations from the Beijing's Global Media Influence report.
Understanding Transnational Repression
New Report: Defending Democracy in Exile
Dozens of governments around the world systemically employ violence against exiles and diasporas, reaching beyond national borders to silence dissent. Read more about transnational repression in our newest report, Defending Democracy in Exile: Policy Responses to Transnational Repression.
About Transnational Repression
By studying transnational repression at a global scale, Freedom House aims to explain the repercussions of these campaigns, and to help policymakers and civil society think about how they can respond to protect exiles and diasporas. Read all of our reports on transnational repression.
The recommendations listed below are intended to constrain the ability of states to commit acts of transnational repression and to increase accountability for perpetrators of transnational repression.
A Surge of Military Coups in Africa Threatens Human Rights and the Rule of Law
October 12, 2023
Five Years after Khashoggi Murder, Democracies Must Hold Saudi Regime Accountable for Human Rights Abuses
October 2, 2023
Freeing Vladimir Kara-Murza Should Be a US Government Priority
September 28, 2023
Reviving News Media in an Embattled Europe
War Deepens a Regional Divide
Nations in Transit
Civic Mobilizations Case Study: Vietnam
Civic Mobilizations Case Study: Ethiopia
Civic Mobilization in Belarus: The Case of the 2020 Election