Foreword | Freedom House


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Freedom in the World is an institutional effort by Freedom House to monitor the progress and decline of political rights and civil liberties in 192 nations and 17 related and disputed territories. These year-end reviews of freedom began in 1955, when they were called the Balance Sheet of Freedom and, still later, the Annual Survey of the Progress of Freedom. This program was expanded in the early 1970s, and has appeared in a more developed context as a yearbook since 1978.

Since 1989, the survey project has been a year-long effort produced by our regional experts, consultants, and human rights specialists. The survey derives its information from a wide range of sources. Most valued of these are the many human rights activists, journalists, editors, and political figures around the world who keep us informed of the human rights situation in their countries

The survey team is grateful to the considerable advice and input of our Freedom in the World advisory board, consisting of Prof. David Becker, Prof. Daniel Brumberg, Dr. Larry Diamond, Prof. Charles Gati, Prof. Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Thomas Lansner, Dr. Seymour Martin Lipset, Prof. Alexander Motyl, Dr. Joshua Muravchik, Dr. Daniel Pipes, and Prof. Arthur Waldron.

Throughout the year, Freedom House personnel regularly conduct fact-finding missions to gain more in-depth knowledge of the vast political transformations affecting our world. During these investigations, we make every effort to meet a cross section of political parties and associations, human rights monitors, religious figures, representatives of both the private sector and trade union movement, academics, and journalists.

During the past year, Freedom House staff and survey team members traveled to Argentina, Algeria, Belarus, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, East Timor, Egypt, France, Haiti, Hungary, India, Israel, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Yugoslavia. The survey project team also consults a vast array of published source materials, ranging from the reports of other human rights organizations to often rare, regional newspapers and magazines.

Among those responsible for the production of Freedom in the World are Linda Stern, editor; Mark Wolkenfeld, production coordinator; and Trish Fox, proofreader. The cover was designed by Anne Green.

Principal support for Freedom in the World has been generously provided by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation.