Nations in Transit 2015 could not have been completed without the contributions of numerous Freedom House staff and consultants. This study was also made possible by the generous support of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Freedom House is grateful to the authors for their painstaking efforts to provide clear, concise, and informed analysis of the dramatic changes occurring in the countries under study. The authors of this year’s country reports include: Gledis Gjipali, Alexander Iskandaryan, Alena Vysotskaya Guedes Vieira, Dino Jahić, Maria Spirova, Petar Dorić, Lubomír Kopeček, Hille Hinsberg, Jane Matt, Rauno Vinni, Lincoln Mitchell, Balázs Áron Kovács, Joanna Lillis, Krenar Gashi, Erica Marat, Kārlis Bukovskis, Andris Sprūds, Mindaugas Jurkynas, Marija Risteska, Leonid Litra, Jovana Marović, Piotr Arak, Piotr Żakowiecki, Valentina Dimulescu, Adriana Iordache, Andrea Wagner, Robert W. Orttung, Misha Savic, Benjamin Cunningham, Miro Haček, Annette Bohr, Oleksandr Sushko, Olena Prystayko, Sarah Kendzior, and others.
A number of distinguished scholars and regional experts served on this year’s academic oversight committees and ratings board. They are: Kristie D. Evenson of Split (Croatia); David Kramer of the McCain Institute (United States); Mark Kramer of Harvard University (United States); Rajan Menon of the City University of New York, New York (United States); Alexander Motyl of Rutgers University, Newark (United States); Noah Tucker, Sharon Wolchik of the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (United States); and Susan Woodward of the Graduate Center of City University of New York (United States).
For their valuable comments on specific reports, Freedom House also thanks: Archil Abashidze and David Aprasidze of Ilia State University (Georgia); Luca Anceschi of University of Glasgow (United Kingdom); Margarita Balmaceda of the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University (United States); Leila Bičakčić of the Center for Investigative Reporting (Bosnia and Herzegovina); Christian Bleuer; Nadia Bojadjieva of Harvard University (United States); Keith Brown of Brown University (United States); Sally Brown-Micova of the London School of Economics (United Kingdom); Goran Buldioski of Open Society Foundations (Hungary); Fred Cocozzelli of St. John's University, New York (United States); Lenard J. Cohen of Simon Fraser University, Vancouver (Canada); Felix Corley and John Kinahan of Forum 18 News Service, Oslo (Norway); Bill Crowther of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (United States); Ivana Cvetković Bajrović of the National Endowment for Democracy (United States); Ivan Damjanovski of the University of Skopje (Macedonia); Tomaž Deželan of University of Ljubljana (Slovenia); Dragos Dinu of Romanian Center for European Policies, Bucharest (Romania); Kjetil Duvold of Dalarna University (Sweden); Bernd Fischer of Indiana University, Fort Wayne (United States); Joerg Forbrig of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Berlin (Germany); Gerard Gallucci of the University of Pittsburgh (United States); Cristian Ghinea of Romanian Center for European Policies, Bucharest (Romania); Kęstutis Girnius of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS) at Vilnius University (Lithuania); Ljubica Grozdanovska Dimishkovska; Henry Hale of George Washington University, Washington, D.C. (United States); Martin Ehl of Transitions Online (Czech Republic); Gábor Halmai of the ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences, Budapest (Hungary); Olexiy Haran of the University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy (Ukraine); Vlastimil Havlík of Masaryk University, Brno (Czech Republic); Aida Hozić of the University of Florida (United States); Rico Isaacs of Oxford Brookes University (United Kingdom); Nino Japaridze of Freedom House (United States); Krzysztof Jasiewicz of the Washington and Lee University, Lexington (United States); Jasna Jelisić; Risto Karajkov; Charles Kovács of Hid Radio Zrt, Budapest (Hungary); Olesea Kovali-Stamate; Sergiy Kudelia of Baylor University, Waco (Texas); Sabina Lange of European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht (Netherlands); Miroslav Mareš of Masaryk University (Czech Republic); Tina Mavrikos-Adamou of Hofstra University, Hempstead (United States); Casey Michel of the Harriman Institute, Columbia University (United States); Inta Mierina of University of Warsaw (Poland); Snježana Milivojević of University of Belgrade (Bosnia and Herzegovina); Patrick Moore, formerly of Radio Free Europe, Bonn (Germany); Stevo Muk of Institute Alternative, Podgorica (Montenegro); Naz Nazar; Andrej Nosko of the Central European University and the Open Society Foundations Think Tank Fund, Budapest (Hungary); Conor O’Dwyer of the University of Florida (United States); Alena Panikova of Open Society Foundations (Slovakia); Bruce Pannier; Yevgenya (Jenny) Paturyan of the American University of Armenia, Yerevan (Armenia); Vjeran Pavlaković of the University of Rijeka (Croatia), Tsveta Petrova of Eurasia Group, New York (United States); Katy Pearce of University of Washington, Seattle (United States); Dragana Pećo of the Centre for Investigative Journalism of Serbia, Belgrade (Serbia); Vello A. Pettai of University of Tartu (Estonia); Nikolay Petrov of National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow (Russia); Marina Popescu of Central European University (Hungary); Lukas Pukelis of University of Tartu (Estonia); Besnik Pula of Princeton University (United States); Andrew Radin at Harvard University (United States); Lavinia Stan of the St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish (Canada); Stanislav Secrieru; Oxana Shevel of Tufts University (United States); Yervand Shirinyan of the Open Society Foundations, Budapest (Hungary); Allan Sikk of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University College London (United Kingdom); Gavin Slade of University of Toronto (Canada); Aneta Spendzharova of Maastricht University, Maastricht (The Netherlands); Dane Taleski of Central European University (Hungary); Lloyd Tudyk; Daliborka Uljarević of Centre for Civic Education, Podgorica (Montenegro); Balázs Váradi of Budapest Institute (Hungary); Ramūnas Vilpišauskas of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS) at Vilnius University (Lithuania); Cory Welt of George Washington University (United States); Jonathan Wheatley of the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany); and Tomasz Zarycki of University of Warsaw (Poland).
Many Freedom House staff devoted time and energy toward the development of this project. Sylvana Habdank-Kołaczkowska served as the project director and chief editor of the study, assisted by research and data analyst Zselyke Csaky. Tyler Roylance provided essential editorial support. Elen Aghekyan, Rebecca Johnston, Vytis Jurkonis, Sofya Orlosky, Matthew Schaaf, and Nate Schenkkan, gave extremely helpful feedback on a number of drafts. Executive staff members, including Freedom House vice-presidents Vanessa Tucker and Arch Puddington, also lent valuable insights to the ratings discussions.
Freedom House would also like to thank Judit Kovács of Createch Ltd., who was responsible for typesetting the reports and Gerry Fey of GFeyDesign, who worked on the Nations in Transit 2015 booklet. Thomas Cooper, David M. Harris, Marynia Kruk, Anastasia Tkach, also provided important research and editorial assistance. Freedom House extends gratitude to all who assisted with Nations in Transit 2015.