Internet Activities

Chapter 7

Freedom House’s “Freedom in the World 2014” Report

This exercise asks you to browse the annual “Freedom in the World” report, which has been compiled by Freedom House since 1972, and use it to examine the spread of democracy since the end of the Cold War.

You can access the latest report by clicking on “Freedom in the World” under “Signature Reports.” You can also select reports from previous years by clicking the drop-down menu labeled “View another year”

1. Scroll over the interactive map and locate one country that is “free,” “partly free,” and “not free;” try to find countries that you are familiar with. Note these countries and what their “political rights rating” and “civil liberties rating” are. Given what you know about those countries, how can you explain those ratings?

2. In what regions are each type of country clustered?

3. Click on the link labeled “Aggregate and Subcategory Scores.” What subcategories does the report assess, and where does it draw those subcategories from?

4. Click on the link for the latest subcategory scores, which will download an Excel spreadsheet. According to the spreadsheet, which subcategories are used to measure political rights, and which are used to measure civil liberties?

5. Looking at the spreadsheet, find the three countries you noted earlier. How are those countries rated on each of the seven subcategories?

6. Go back to the interactive map. Do you think this map better supports Francis Fukuyama’s “End of History” argument or Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” argument? Do you think any of the countries labeled “partly free” or “not free” are examples of what Fareed Zakaria calls “illiberal democracies?” Why?