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 18 related and disputed territories. These year-end reviews of freedom began in 1955, when they were called the Balance Sheet of Freedom and, 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, including the many human rights activists, journalists, and political figures around the world who keep us informed of the human rights situation in their respective countries. The survey team also consults a vast array of published materials, ranging from the reports of other human rights organizations to regional newspapers and journals.

Throughout the year, Freedom House personnel 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 movements, academics, and journalists.

The survey team is grateful to the input of our Freedom in the World academic advisory board, consisting of David Becker, Kenneth Bollen, Daniel Brumberg, Larry Diamond, Charles Gati, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Thomas Lansner, Peter Lewis, Andrew Moravcsik, Alexander Motyl, Joshua Muravchik, Daniel Pipes, Jack Snyder, Arturo Valenzuela, Ashutosh Varshney, and Bridget Welsh.

Among those responsible for the production of Freedom in the World are Linda Stern, copy editor; Mark Wolkenfeld, production coordinator; and Trish Fox, proof- reader.

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