Freedom House is a U.S.-based
501(c)(3) U.S. Government-funded
non-governmental organization (NGO) that conducts research and
advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights. Freedom
House was founded in October 1941, and
Wendell Willkie and Eleanor
Roosevelt served as its first honorary chairpersons. It describes
itself as a "clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world",
although critics have stated that the organization is biased towards
US interests. The organization was 66% funded by grants from the U.S.
government in 2006, a number which has increased to 86% in 2016.
The organization's annual
Freedom in the World
Freedom in the World report, which assesses
each country's degree of political freedoms and civil liberties, is
frequently cited by political scientists, journalists, and
policymakers. Freedom of the Press and Freedom of the Net, which
monitor censorship, intimidation and violence against journalists, and
public access to information, are among its other signature reports.
Freedom House report released in 2018,
Democracy Scores for most
countries declined for the 12th consecutive year.
3.1 Freedom in the World
3.2 Freedom of the Press
3.3 Freedom on the Net
3.4 Other annual reports
4 Other activities
5.1 Relationship with the U.S. Government
5.2 Cuban, Sudanese and Chinese criticism
5.4 Alleged partiality toward Uzbekistan
5.5 Overemphasis on formal aspects of democracy
6 Chronology of systematic evaluations
8 See also
10 External links
Freedom House was incorporated October 31, 1941.:293 Among its
founders were Eleanor Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, Mayor Fiorello La
Guardia, Elizabeth Cutter Morrow, Dorothy Thompson, George Field,
Herbert Agar, Herbert Bayard Swope, Ralph Bunche, Father George B.
Roscoe Drummond and Rex Stout. George Field (1904–2006) was
executive director of the organization until his retirement in
According to its website,
Freedom House "emerged from an amalgamation
of two groups that had been formed, with the quiet encouragement of
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to encourage popular support for
American involvement in World War II at a time when isolationist
sentiments were running high in the United States." Several
groups, in fact, were aggressively supporting U.S. entry into the war
and in early autumn 1941, when various group activities began to
overlap, the Fight for Freedom Committee began exploring a mass
merger. George Field then conceived the idea of all of the groups
maintaining their separate identities under one roof—Freedom
House—to promote the concrete application of the principles of
Freedom House had physical form in a
New York City
New York City building that
represented the organization's goals. A converted residence at 32 East
51st Street opened January 22, 1942,:293 as a centre "where all
who love liberty may meet, plan their programs and encourage one
another". Furnished as a gift of the Allies, the 19-room building
included a broadcasting facility.
Freedom House sponsored influential radio programs including The Voice
of Freedom (1942–43) and
Our Secret Weapon
Our Secret Weapon (1942–43), a
CBS radio series created to counter Axis shortwave radio propaganda
broadcasts. Rex Stout, chairman of the
Writers' War Board
Writers' War Board and
representative of Freedom House, would rebut the most entertaining
lies of the week. The series was produced by Paul White, founder of
In 1945 an elegant building at 20 West 40th Street was purchased to
house the organization. It was named the Willkie Memorial
After the war, as its website states, "
Freedom House took up the
struggle against the other twentieth century totalitarian threat,
Communism.... The organization's leadership was convinced that the
spread of democracy would be the best weapon against totalitarian
Freedom House supported the
Marshall Plan and the
establishment of NATO.
Freedom House also supported the Johnson
Vietnam War policies.
Freedom House was highly critical of McCarthyism. During the
1950s and 1960s, it supported the
Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights Movement in the United
States and its leadership included several prominent civil rights
activists—though it was critical of civil rights leaders such as
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. for their anti-war activism. It supported
Andrei Sakharov, other Soviet dissidents, and the Solidarity movement
Freedom House assisted the post-Communist societies in
the establishment of independent media, non-governmental think tanks,
and the core institutions of electoral politics.
The organization describes itself currently as a clear voice for
democracy and freedom around the world.
Freedom House states that
has vigorously opposed dictatorships in Central America and Chile,
apartheid in South Africa, the suppression of the Prague Spring, the
Soviet war in Afghanistan, genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda, and the
brutal violation of human rights in Cuba, Burma, the People's Republic
of China, and Iraq. It has championed the rights of democratic
activists, religious believers, trade unionists, journalists, and
proponents of free markets.
Freedom House absorbed Books USA, which had been created
several years earlier by Edward R. Murrow, as a joint venture
Peace Corps and the
United States Information Service.
Freedom House has supported citizens involved in
challenges to the existing regimes in Serbia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan,
Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere. The organization states, "From South
Africa to Jordan, Kyrgyzstan to Indonesia,
Freedom House has partnered
with regional activists in bolstering civil society; worked to support
women's rights; sought justice for victims of torture; defended
journalists and free expression advocates; and assisted those
struggling to promote human rights in challenging political
Freedom House was critical of
Saudi Arabia and
Chile under Augusto Pinochet, classifying them as "Not Free". It was
also strongly critical of the apartheid in South Africa and military
dictatorships in Latin America.
Freedom House had income of around $11m, increasing to over
$26m in 2006. Much of the increase was due to an increase between
2004 and 2005 in US government federal funding, from $12m to $20m.
Federal funding fell to around $10m in 2007, but still represented
around 80% of Freedom House's budget. As of 2010, grants awarded
from the US government accounted for most of Freedom House's
funding; the grants were not earmarked by the government but
allocated through a competitive process.
Freedom House headquarters in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.
Freedom House is a nonprofit organization with approximately 150 staff
members worldwide. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., it has field
offices in about a dozen countries, including Ukraine, Hungary,
Serbia, Jordan, Mexico, and also countries in Central Asia.
Freedom House states that its Board of Trustees is composed of
"business and labor leaders, former senior government officials,
scholars, writers, and journalists". All board members are current
residents of the United States. Members of the organization's board of
directors include Kenneth Adelman, Farooq Kathwari, Azar Nafisi, Mark
P.J. O'Rourke and Lawrence Lessig, while past board-members
have included Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Samuel
Huntington, Mara Liasson, Otto Reich, Donald Rumsfeld, Whitney North
Seymour, Paul Wolfowitz,
Steve Forbes and Bayard Rustin.
Freedom in the World
Main article: Freedom in the World
Country ratings from Freedom House's
Freedom in the World
Freedom in the World 2018 survey,
concerning the state of world freedom in 2017.
Free (87) Partly Free (59) Not
Countries highlighted in blue are designated "electoral democracies"
in Freedom House's 2017 survey Freedom in the World, covering the year
Percentage of countries in each category over time, from Freedom
House's 1973 through 2013 reports.
Free Partly Free Not Free
Since 1972 (1978 in book form),
Freedom House publishes an annual
report, Freedom in the World, on the degree of democratic freedoms in
nations and significant disputed territories around the world, by
which it seeks to assess the current state of civil and political
rights on a scale from 1 (most free) to 7 (least free).
Until 2003, states where the average for political and civil liberties
differed from 1.0 to 2.5 were considered "free". States with values
from 3.0 to 5.5 were considered "partly free" and those with values
between 5.5 and 7.0 as "not free". Since 2003 the scope of the "partly
free" ranges from 3.0 to 5.0, "not free" from 5.5 to 7.0.
These reports are often used by political scientists when doing
research. The ranking is highly correlated with several other ratings
of democracy also frequently used by researchers.
In its 2003 report, for example, the
United Kingdom (judged as fully
free and democratic) got a perfect score of a "1" in civil liberties
and a "1" in political rights, earning it the designation of "free."
Nigeria got a "5" and a "4," earning it the designation of "partly
North Korea scored the lowest rank of "7-7," and was thus
dubbed "not free." Nations are scored from 0 to 4 on several questions
and the sum determines the rankings. Example questions: "Is the head
of state and/or head of government or other chief authority elected
through free and fair elections?", "Is there an independent
judiciary?", "Are there free trade unions and peasant organizations or
equivalents, and is there effective collective bargaining? Are there
free professional and other private organizations?" Freedom House
states that the rights and liberties of the survey are derived in
large measure from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The research and ratings process involved two dozen analysts and more
than a dozen senior-level academic advisors. The eight members of the
core research team headquartered in New York, along with 16 outside
consultant analysts, prepared the country and territory reports. The
analysts used a broad range of sources of information—including
foreign and domestic news reports, academic analyses, nongovernmental
organizations, think tanks, individual professional contacts, and
visits to the region—in preparing the reports.
The country and territory ratings were proposed by the analyst
responsible for each related report. The ratings were reviewed
individually and on a comparative basis in a series of six regional
meetings—Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and the Former
Soviet Union, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North
Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Western Europe—involving the
analysts, academic advisors with expertise in each region, and Freedom
House staff. The ratings were compared to the previous year's
findings, and any major proposed numerical shifts or category changes
were subjected to more intensive scrutiny. These reviews were followed
by cross-regional assessments in which efforts were made to ensure
comparability and consistency in the findings. Many of the key country
reports were also reviewed by the academic advisers.
The survey's methodology is reviewed periodically by an advisory
committee of political scientists with expertise in methodological
Freedom House also produces annual reports on press freedom (Press
Freedom Survey), governance in the nations of the former Soviet Union
(Nations in Transit), and countries on the borderline of democracy
(Countries at the Crossroads). In addition, one-time reports have
included a survey of women's freedoms in the Middle East.
Freedom House's methods (around 1990) and other democracy-researchers
were mentioned as examples of an expert-based evaluation by
sociologist Kenneth A. Bollen, who is also an applied statistician.
Bollen writes that expert-based evaluations are prone to statistical
bias of an unknown direction, that is, not known either to agree with
U.S. policy or to disagree with U.S. policy: "Regardless of the
direction of distortions, it is highly likely that every set of
indicators formed by a single author or organization contains
systematic measurement error. The origin of this measure lies in the
common methodology of forming measures. Selectivity of information and
various traits of the judges fuse into a distinct form of bias that is
likely to characterize all indicators from a common publication."
Freedom of the Press
2015 Freedom of the Press Classifications
Not Free Partly Free
Free No Data
Main article: Freedom of the Press (report)
The Freedom of the Press index is an annual survey of media
independence that assesses the degree of print, broadcast, and
internet freedom throughout the world. It provides numerical
rankings and rates each country's media as "Free," "Partly Free," or
"Not Free." Individual country narratives examine the legal
environment for the media, political pressures that influence
reporting, and economic factors that affect access to information.
The annual survey, which provides analytical reports and numerical
ratings for 196 countries and territories in 2011, continues a process
conducted since 1980. The findings are widely used by governments,
international organizations, academics, and the news media in many
countries. Countries are given a total score from 0 (best) to 100
(worst) on the basis of a set of 23 methodology questions divided into
three subcategories: legal environment, political environment, and the
economic environment. Assigning numerical points allows for
comparative analysis among the countries surveyed and facilitates an
examination of trends over time. Countries scoring 0 to 30 are
regarded as having "Free" media; 31 to 60, "Partly Free" media; and 61
to 100, "Not Free" media. The ratings and reports included in each
annual report cover events that took place during the previous year,
for example Freedom of the Press 2011 covers events that took place
between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010.
The study is based on universal criteria and recognizes cultural
differences, diverse national interests, and varying levels of
economic development. The starting point is the smallest, most
universal unit of concern: the individual. The survey uses a
multilayered process of analysis and evaluation by a team of regional
experts and scholars, including an internal research team and external
consultants. The diverse nature of the methodology questions seeks to
encompass the varied ways in which pressure can be placed upon the
flow of information and the ability of print, broadcast, and
internet-based media to operate freely and without fear of
repercussions. The report provides a picture of the entire "enabling
environment" in which the media in each country operate. Degree of
news and information diversity available to the public is also
An independent review of press freedom studies, commissioned by the
Knight Foundation in 2006, found that FOP is the best in its class of
Press Freedom Indicators.
Freedom on the Net
The Freedom on the Net reports provide analytical reports and
numerical ratings regarding the state of Internet freedom for
countries worldwide. The countries surveyed represent a sample
with a broad range of geographical diversity and levels of economic
development, as well as varying levels of political and media freedom.
The surveys ask a set of questions designed to measure each country's
level of Internet and digital media freedom, as well as the access and
openness of other digital means of transmitting information,
particularly mobile phones and text messaging services. Results are
presented for three areas:
Obstacles to Access: infrastructural and economic barriers to access;
governmental efforts to block specific applications or technologies;
legal and ownership control over internet and mobile phone access
Limits on Content: filtering and blocking of websites; other forms of
censorship and self-censorship; manipulation of content; the diversity
of online news media; and usage of digital media for social and
Violations of User Rights: legal protections and restrictions on
online activity; surveillance and limits on privacy; and repercussions
for online activity, such as legal prosecution, imprisonment, physical
attacks, or other forms of harassment.
The results from the three areas are combined into a total score for a
country (from 0 for best to 100 for worst) and countries are rated as
"Free" (0 to 30), "Partly Free" (31 to 60), or "Not Free" (61 to 100)
based on the totals.
As of October 2017
Freedom House has produced eight editions of the
report, the first in 2009 surveyed 15 countries, the second in
2011 surveyed 37 countries, the third in 2012 surveyed 47
countries, the fourth in 2013 surveyed 60 countries, the fifth
in 2014 and in subsequent years each surveyed 65
countries. There was no report in 2010. The reports
generally cover the period from June through May.
Freedom on the Net Survey Results
In addition the 2012 report identified seven countries that were at
particular risk of suffering setbacks related to Internet freedom in
late 2012 and in 2013: Azerbaijan, Libya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Rwanda,
Russia, and Sri Lanka. At the time the Internet in most of these
countries was a relatively open and unconstrained space for free
expression, but the countries also typically featured a repressive
environment for traditional media and had recently considered or
introduced legislation that would negatively affect Internet
Other annual reports
Freedom House also produces these annual reports:
Nations in Transit: first published in 2003, deals with governance in
the nations of the former
Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
Countries at the Crossroads: first published in 2004, covers countries
on the borderline of democracy.
Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: first published in
2005, these multi-year reports provide a survey of women's freedoms in
the Middle East and North Africa.
Freedom House has produced more than 85 special reports since 2002,
Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies: an annual
report of extracts from
Freedom in the World
Freedom in the World covering countries that
receive the lowest possible combined average score for political
rights and civil liberties, as well as countries "on the threshold,"
falling just short of the lowest possible rating.
A New Multilateralism for Atrocities Prevention (2015) 
Voices in the Streets: Mass Social Protests and the Right to Peaceful
Today's American: How Free?: a special report which examines whether
Americans in 2008 were sacrificing essential values in the war against
terror, and scrutinizes other critical issues such as the political
process, criminal justice system, racial inequality and
Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa 2009 
Freedom of Association Under Threat: The New Authoritarians' Offensive
Against Civil Society (2007) 
In addition to these reports,
Freedom House participates in advocacy
initiatives, currently focused on North Korea, Africa, and religious
freedom. It has offices in a number of countries, where it promotes
and assists local human rights workers and non-government
On January 12, 2006, as part of a crackdown on unauthorized
nongovernmental organizations, the Uzbek government ordered Freedom
House to suspend operations in Uzbekistan. Resource and Information
Centers managed by
Freedom House in Tashkent, Namangan, and Samarkand
offered access to materials and books on human rights, as well as
technical equipment, such as computers, copiers and Internet access.
The government warned that criminal proceedings could be brought
against Uzbek staff members and visitors following recent amendments
to the criminal code and Code on Administrative Liability of
Uzbekistan. Other human rights groups have been similarly threatened
and obliged to suspend operations.
Freedom House is a member of the International Freedom of Expression
Exchange, a global network of more than 80 non-governmental
organizations that monitors free expression violations around the
world and defends journalists, writers and others who are persecuted
for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Freedom House
also publishes the China Media Bulletin, a weekly analysis on press
freedom in and related to the People's Republic of China. On 27 August
Freedom House released their official iPhone app, which was
created by British entrepreneur Joshua Browder.
Relationship with the U.S. Government
In 2006, the
Financial Times reported that
Freedom House received
funding by the State Department for 'clandestine activities' inside
Iran. According to the Financial Times, "Some academics, activists
and those involved in the growing US business of spreading freedom and
democracy are alarmed that such semi-covert activities risk damaging
the public and transparent work of other organisations, and will
backfire inside Iran."
On December 7, 2004, former U.S. House Representative and Libertarian
Ron Paul criticized
Freedom House for allegedly
administering a U.S.-funded program in
Ukraine where "much of that
money was targeted to assist one particular candidate." Paul said that
"one part that we do know thus far is that the U.S. government,
through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), granted
millions of dollars to the Poland-America-
Initiative (PAUCI), which is administered by the U.S.-based Freedom
House. PAUCI then sent
U.S. Government funds to numerous Ukrainian
non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This would be bad enough and
would in itself constitute meddling in the internal affairs of a
sovereign nation. But, what is worse is that many of these grantee
Ukraine are blatantly in favor of presidential
candidate Viktor Yushchenko."
Noam Chomsky and
Edward S. Herman have criticized the organization for
excessively criticizing states opposed to US interests while being
unduly sympathetic to regimes supportive of US interests. For
Freedom House described the Rhodesian general election of
1979 as "fair", but described the Southern Rhodesian 1980 elections as
"dubious", and it found El Salvador's 1982 election to be
Cuban, Sudanese and Chinese criticism
In May 2001, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations of the
United Nations heard arguments for and against Freedom House.
Cuba said that the organization is a U.S. foreign
policy instrument linked to the CIA and "submitted proof of the
politically motivated, interventionist activities the
House) carried out against their Government". They also claimed a lack
of criticism of U.S. human rights violations in the annual reports.
Cuba also stated that these violations are well documented by other
reports, such as those of Human Rights Watch. Other countries such as
Sudan also gave criticism. The Russian representative
inquired "why this organization, an
NGO which defended human rights,
was against the creation of the International Criminal Court."
The U.S. representative stated that alleged links between Freedom
House and the CIA were "simply not true." The representative said he
agreed that the
NGO receives funds from the
United States Government,
but said this is disclosed in its reports. The representative said the
funds were from the
United States Agency for International Development
(USAID), which was not a branch of the CIA. The representative said
his country had a law prohibiting the government from engaging in the
activities of organizations seeking to change public policy, such as
Freedom House. The representative said his country was not immune from
criticism from Freedom House, which he said was well documented. The
US representative further argued that
Freedom House was a human rights
organization which sought to represent those who did not have a voice.
The representative said he would continue to support NGOs who
criticized his government and those of others.
Russia, identified by
Freedom House as "Not Free", called Freedom
House biased and accused the group of serving U.S. interests. Sergei
Markov, an MP from the United
Russia party, called
Freedom House a
"Russophobic" organization: "You can listen to everything they say,
except when it comes to Russia... There are many Russophobes
there". In response, Christopher Walker, director of studies at
Freedom House, argued that
Freedom House made its evaluations based on
objective criteria explained on the organization's web site, and he
denied that it had a pro-U.S. agenda. "If you look closely at the 193
countries that we evaluate, you'll find that we criticize what are
often considered strategic allies of the United States," he said.
Daniel Treisman, a
UCLA political scientist, has criticized Freedom
House's assessment of Russia. Treisman has pointed out that Freedom
House ranks Russia's political rights on the same level as the United
Arab Emirates, which, according to Freedom House, is a federation of
absolute monarchies with no hint of democracy anywhere in the system.
Freedom House also ranks Russia's civil liberties on the same scale as
those of Yemen. In Yemen, according to the constitution,
Sharia law is
the only source of legislation, and allows assaults and killings of
women for alleged immoral behaviour. Criticising the president is
illegal in Yemen. Treisman contrasts Freedom House's ranking with the
Polity IV scale used by academics and in which
Russia has a much
better score. In the
Polity IV scale,
Saudi Arabia is a consolidated
autocracy (-10), while the
United States is a consolidated democracy
Russia has a score of +4, while
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates has a
score of -8.
Alleged partiality toward Uzbekistan
Craig Murray, the British ambassador to
Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004,
wrote that the executive director of
Freedom House told him in 2003
that the group decided to back off from its efforts to spotlight human
rights abuses in Uzbekistan, because some Republican board members (in
Murray's words) "expressed concern that
Freedom House was failing to
keep in sight the need to promote freedom in the widest sense, by
giving full support to U.S. and coalition forces".
Human rights abuses
Uzbekistan at the time included the killing of prisoners by
"immersion in boiling liquid," and by strapping on a gas mask and
blocking the filters, Murray reported. Jennifer Windsor, the
executive director of
Freedom House in 2003, replied that Murray's
"characterization of our conversation is an inexplicable
misrepresentation not only of what was said at that meeting, but of
Freedom House's record in
Freedom House has been a
consistent and harsh critic of the human rights situation in
Uzbekistan, as clearly demonstrated in press releases and in our
annual assessments of that country".
Overemphasis on formal aspects of democracy
According to one study, Freedom House's rankings "overemphasize the
more formal aspects of democracy while failing to capture the informal
but real power relations and pathways of influence... and frequently
lead to de facto deviations from democracy." States can therefore
"look formally liberal-democratic but might be rather illiberal in
their actual workings".
Chronology of systematic evaluations
From the 1970s until 1990, Raymond D. Gastil practically produced
the reports on his own, though sometimes with help from his wife.
Gastil himself described it in 1990 as "a loose, intuitive rating
system for levels of freedom or democracy, as defined by the
traditional political rights and civil liberties of the Western
democracies." Regarding criticisms of his reports, he said: "generally
such criticism is based on opinions about
Freedom House rather than
detailed examination of survey ratings".
In a 1986 report on the methodology used by Gastil and others to
Freedom in the World
Freedom in the World report,
Kenneth A. Bollen noted some bias
but found that "no criticisms of which I am aware have demonstrated a
systematic bias in all the ratings. Most of the evidence consists of
anecdotal evidence of relatively few cases. Whether there is a
systematic or sporadic slant in Gastil's ratings is an open
question". In a later report by Bollen and Pamela Paxton in 2000,
they concluded that from 1972 to 1988 (a specific period they
observed), there was "unambiguous evidence of judge-specific
measurement errors, which are related to traits of the countries."
They estimated that Gastil's method produced a bias of
0.38 standard deviations (s.d.) against
Marxist–Leninist countries and a larger bias, 0.5 s.d.,
favoring Christian countries.
In 2001, a study by Mainwaring, Brink, and Perez-Linanhe found the
Freedom Index of
Freedom in the World
Freedom in the World to have a strong positive
correlation (at least 80%) with three other democracy indices.
Mainwaring et al. wrote that Freedom House's index had "two systematic
biases: scores for leftist were tainted by political
considerations,[how?] and changes in scores are sometimes driven by
changes in their criteria rather than changes in real conditions".
Nonetheless, when evaluated on Latin American countries yearly,
Freedom House's index was positively correlated with the index of Adam
Przeworski and with the index of the authors themselves. However,
according to Przeworski in 2003, the definition of freedom in Gastil
Freedom House (1990) emphasized liberties rather than the
exercise of freedom. He gave the following example: In the United
States, citizens are free to form political parties and to vote, yet
even in presidential elections only half of U.S. citizens vote; in the
U.S., "the same two parties speak in a commercially sponsored
A 2014 report by comparative politics researcher Nils D. Steiner found
"strong and consistent evidence of a substantial bias in the FH
ratings" before 1988, with bias being reflected by the relationships
between the US and the countries under investigation. He writes that
after 1989 the findings weren't as strong, but still hinted at
Sarah Sunn Bush was critical of
Freedom House in 2017, writing that
many critics found the original pre-1990 methodology lacking. While
this improved after a team was hired in 1990, she says some criticism
remains. As for why the
Freedom House index is most often quoted in
the United States, she notes that its definition of democracy is
closely aligned with US foreign policy. US-allied countries tend to
get better scores than in other reports. However, because the report
is important to US lawmakers and politicians, weaker states seeking US
aid or favor are forced to respond to the reports, giving the Freedom
House significant influence in those places. Bush shows in her report
that its ideology has long reflected that of the people who are most
involved in US foreign policy, and that liberal democracy was the main
form of democracy that was considered. The FITW index focuses
primarily on individual freedoms, as US politicians do, but little on
egalitarian concerns. The claim that American politics play a role is
supported by the relatively low FITW scores given to
Russia and other
post-Soviet states since the end of the Cold War, as well as to
Sandinistan-led Nicaragua, but relatively high scores to the El
Salvador military junta. At the same time, Bush found that the House's
archive showed that they never debated marking Israel as anything less
than "free" despite calls from many sources in the region to do
Former US President Bill Clinton, giving a speech at a Freedom House
I'm honored to be here with all of you and to be here at Freedom
House. For more than 50 years,
Freedom House has been a voice for
tolerance for human dignity. People all over the world are better off
because of your work. And I'm very grateful that
Freedom House has
rallied this diverse and dynamic group. It's not every day that the
Carnegie Endowment, the Progressive Policy Institute, The Heritage
Foundation, and the
American Foreign Policy Council share the same
Speaking at a reception hosted by
Freedom House to honor human rights
defenders, U.S. Representative Jim McGovern said:
I want to thank
Freedom House for all the incredible work that they do
to assist human rights defenders around the world. We rely a lot on
Freedom House not only for information, advice and counsel, but also
for their testimony when we do our hearings. And I'm a big fan.
Speaking at a screening of film The Magnitsky Files, Senator John
Thank you for everything that
Freedom House continues to do on behalf
of people around the world who suffer oppression and persecution. I'm
honored to have known you and to have the opportunity to work with you
around the world...We rely on organizations like
Freedom House to make
judgments about corruption and the persecution of minorities...
Writing in the conservative
National Review Online, John R. Miller
Freedom House has unwaveringly raised the standard of freedom in
evaluating fascist countries, Communist regimes, and plain old,
dictatorial thugocracies. Its annual rankings are read and used in the
United Nations and other international organizations, as well as by
the U.S. State Department. Policy and aid decisions are influenced by
Freedom House's report. Those fighting for freedom in countries
lacking it are encouraged or discouraged by what Freedom House's
report covers. And sometimes—most importantly—their governments
are moved to greater effort."
Miller nevertheless criticized the organization in 2007 as not paying
enough attention to slavery in its reports. He wrote that repressive
regimes, and even democracies such as Germany and India, needed to be
held to account for their lack of enforcement of laws against human
trafficking and the bondage of some foreign workers.
Human Development Index
International Republican Institute
List of Indices of Freedom
^ a b c d e f g h "Our Board and Staff". freedomhouse.org.
^ a b "Freedom House" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 4 April
^ a b "Our Leadership". Freedom House. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
^ William Ide (January 11, 2000). "
Freedom House Report: Asia Sees
Some Significant Progress". Voice of America. Archived from the
original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
Cuba After Fidel – What Next?". Voice of America. October 31,
2009. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved
October 13, 2012.
Freedom House Annual Report
^ "Financial Statements" (PDF). Freedom House. June 30, 2016.
Retrieved November 27, 2017.
^ "Freedom on the Net 2013", Freedom House, 3 October 2013. Retrieved
12 October 2013.
^ "Freedom House:
Democracy Scores for Most Countries Decline for 12th
Consecutive Year", VOA News, 16 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January
^ a b c d McAleer, John J. (1977). Rex Stout: A Biography. Boston:
Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 9780316553407.
^ a b United Press (January 11, 1942). "
Freedom House Will Open Soon".
Waterloo Sunday Courier. Waterloo, Iowa.
^ History of the
Freedom House Archived May 11, 2011, at the Wayback
Machine., George Field Collection of
Freedom House Files, 1933–1990
(Bulk 1941–1969): Finding Aid, Princeton University Library; Freedom
House Statement on the Passing of George Field (June 1, 2006).
Retrieved January 15, 2011
^ a b c d e f "Our History". Freedom House. Retrieved March 22,
^ "Program Reviews: The Voice of Freedom". The Billboard. 54 (15): 8.
April 11, 1942. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
Freedom House Records 1933–2014, The Voice of Freedom". Princeton
University Library Finding Aids. Princeton University. Retrieved March
^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time
Radio. New York: Oxford University Press.
^ "Field, George, 1904–".
Princeton University Library
Princeton University Library Finding Aids.
Princeton University. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
Freedom House Records 1933–2014, Series 3: Willkie Memorial
Princeton University Library
Princeton University Library Finding Aids. Princeton
University. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
^ "Former Site of the Willkie Memorial Building". Great Architects of
New York: Henry J. Hardenbergh. Starts and Fits. Retrieved March 22,
^ "Johnson Is Backed By
Freedom House On Vietnam Policy". New York
Times. July 21, 1965. Retrieved October 7, 2014. The 'silent center,'
most of the American people, should be heard from on Vietnam, Freedom
House said yesterday in a 'Credo of Support' for the Johnson
Administration's policies in Southeast Asia.
^ "CURB BY CONGRESS URGED;
Freedom House Seeks to Protect Citizens
From Unfair Attack". New York Times. January 2, 1952. Retrieved
October 17, 2014. The public affairs committee of Freedom House
proposed yesterday that Congress revise its rules to 'protect citizens
from unfair and unwarranted attack' by Senators and Representatives
who shield themselves behind Congressional immunity. Asserting that
the methods of political and personal attack exemplified in Senator
Joseph R. McCarthy, Republican from Wisconsin, injured citizens both
within and out of Government without just cause, the Freedom House
Freedom House Scores Dr. King". New York Times. May 21, 1967.
Retrieved October 17, 2014.
Freedom House severely criticized the Rev.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. yesterday for lending his 'mantle of
respectability' to an anti-Vietnam war coalition that includes
'well-known Communist allies and luminaries of the hate-America
^ "Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov Honored by Freedom House". New York
Times. December 5, 1973. Retrieved October 17, 2014. Fifteen
'courageous dissenters' in the
Soviet Union were chosen here yesterday
as winners of the 1973 Freedom Award by the nonprofit private
organization known as Freedom House. The organization, which describes
itself as dedicated to the strengthening of free societies, cited the
novelist Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn and the nuclear physicist Andrei
Sakharov, 13 others and their 'unnamed colleagues.'
Freedom House Annual Report 2002" (PDF). Freedom House. Retrieved
October 13, 2012.
^ Barnhisel, Greg; Turner, Catherine (2010). Pressing the Fight:
Print, Propaganda, and the Cold War. University of Massachusetts
Press. p. 135. ISBN 978-1558497368. Retrieved October 13,
^ "Onward the Peace Corps".
Milwaukee Journal. December 2, 1964.
Retrieved March 27, 2012.
^ Allen Kent. "Encyclopedia of library and information science, Volume
38". Chapter on "International Book Donation Programs". p. 239.
^ Comparative scores for all countries from 1973 to 2006 Archived
November 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b c d Giannonea, Diego (2010)."Political and ideological aspects
in the measurement of democracy: the
Freedom House case".
Democratization Volume 17, Issue 1. pp. 68–97.
^ "Our Board and Staff". Freedom House.
^ Freedom in The World 2018 by Freedom House, January 5, 2018
^ Freedom in The World report, 2017 (PDF)
^ a b The Limited Robustness of Empirical Findings on
Highly Correlated Datasets
^ Illumnia Login The political science journal database Illumina lists
between 10 and 20 peer reviewed journal articles referencing the
"freedom in the world" report each year
^ a b Methodology
^ a b c
Freedom House Methodology
^ Bollen, K.A. (1992) Political Rights and Political Liberties in
Nations: An Evaluation of Human Rights Measures, 1950 to 1984. In:
Jabine, T.B. and Pierre Claude, R. "Human Rights and Statistics".
Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-8122-3108-2
^ "Scores and Status Data 1980–2015". Freedom of the Press 2015.
Freedom House. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
^ "Freedom of the Press", web page, Freedom House. Retrieved May 29,
^ a b Freedom of the Press 2011 – Methodology", Karin Karlekar,
Freedom House, April 15, 2011, 4 pp.
^ "An Evaluation of Press Freedom Indicators", Lee B. Becker, Tudor
Vlad and, Nancy Nusser, International Communication Gazette, vol.69,
no.1 (February 2007), pp. 5–28
^ a b c Freedom on the Net 2009, Freedom House, accessed 16 April 2012
^ a b Freedom on the Net 2011, Freedom House, accessed 15 April 2012
^ a b c Freedom on the Net 2012, Freedom House, accessed 24 September
^ a b Freedom on the Net 2013, Freedom House, 3 October 2013.
Retrieved 12 October 2013.
^ a b "Freedom on the Net 2014" (PDF). Freedom House. Retrieved 14
^ a b "Freedom on the Net 2015" (PDF). Freedom House. October 2015.
Retrieved 27 December 2015.
^ a b "Freedom on the Net 2016" (PDF). Freedom House. October 2016.
Retrieved 25 March 2018.
^ a b "Freedom on the Net 2017" (PDF). Freedom House. October 2017.
Retrieved 25 March 2018.
^ "Nations in Transit", Freedom House, 2013. Retrieved 12 October
^ "Countries at the Crossroads", Freedom House, 2012. Retrieved 12
^ "Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa", Freedom House,
2010. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
Special Reports", Freedom House. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
^ Worst of the Worst 2012: The World's Most Repressive Societies,
Freedom House, 28 June 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
^ A New Multilateralism for Atrocities Prevention, Stanley Foundation,
March 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
^ Voices in the Streets: Mass Social Protests and the Right to
Peaceful Assembly, Freedom House, January 2014. Retrieved 25 April
^ Today's American: How Free?, Freedom House, 2008. Retrieved 12
^ Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa 2009, Freedom House, 2009. Retrieved
25 April 2015.
^ Freedom of Association Under Threat: The New Authoritarians'
Offensive Against Civil Society, Freedom House, 2007. Retrieved 25
^ "Freedom at your Fingertips:
Freedom House Releases iPhone App".
Retrieved 11 January 2016.
^ a b Guy Dinmore (March 31, 2006). "Bush enters debate on freedom in
Iran". The Financial Times. Retrieved April 6,
2006. (subscription required)
^ Ron Paul. "U.S. Hypocrisy in Ukraine". Archived from the original on
^ a b c Chomsky and Herman: Manufacturing Consent, Vintage 1994, p. 28
^ a b UN:
NGO Committee hears arguments for, against Freedom House
^ a b Freedom Is Downgraded From 'Bad'
^ Treisman, Daniel (2011). The Return: Russia's Journey from Gorbachev
to Medvedev. Free Press. pp. 341–52.
^ Glorious Nation of Uzbekistan, By Tara McKelvey, New York Times Book
Review, December 9, 2007. Book review of DIRTY DIPLOMACY: The
Rough-and-Tumble Adventures of a Scotch-Drinking, Skirt-Chasing,
Dictator-Busting and Thoroughly Unrepentant Ambassador Stuck on the
Frontline of the War Against Terror, by Craig Murray.
^ Jennifer Windsor (December 23, 2007). "Freedom House's Record". The
New York Times. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012.
Retrieved October 13, 2012.
^ a b Veenendaal, Wouter P. (2015-01-02). "
Democracy in microstates:
why smallness does not produce a democratic political system".
Democratization. 22 (1): 92–112. doi:10.1080/13510347.2013.820710.
^ Gastil, R. D. (1990). "The Comparative Survey of Freedom:
Experiences and Suggestions". Studies in Comparative International
Development. 25 (1): 25–50. doi:10.1007/BF02716904.
^ Bollen, K.A., "Political Rights and Political Liberties in Nations:
An Evaluation of Human Rights Measures, 1950 to 1984", Human Rights
Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 4 (November 1986), pp. 567–91. Also in:
Jabine, T.B. and Pierre Claude, R. (Eds.), Human Rights and
Statistics, University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1992, pp. 188–215,
^ Bollen, Kenneth A. and Paxton, Pamela, "Subjective Measures of
Liberal Democracy", Comparative Political Studies, vol. 33, no. 1
(February 2000), pp.58–86
^ Mainwaring, S.; Brinks, D.; Pérez-Liñán, A. B. (2001).
"Classifying Political Regimes in Latin". Studies in Comparative
International Development. 36 (1): 37–65.
^ Przeworski, Adam (2003). "Freedom to choose and democracy".
Economics and Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. 19: 265–79.
^ Steiner, N. D. (2016). Comparing
Freedom House democracy scores to
alternative indices and testing for political bias: Are US allies
rated as more democratic by Freedom House?. Journal of Comparative
Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 18(4), 329-349.
^ Bush, S. (2017). The Politics of Rating Freedom: Ideological
Affinity, Private Authority, and the
Freedom in the World
Freedom in the World Ratings.
Perspectives on Politics, 15(3), 711-731.
^ Remarks at a
Freedom House breakfast - President
Bill Clinton speech
^ McGovern praises 'unsung heroes', April 19, 2012
^ June 26, 2012 on YouTube
^ a b Miller, John R., "Does 'Freedom' Mean Freedom From Slavery? A
glaring omission. Archived September 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.,
National Review Online, February 5, 2007, accessed same day
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Freedom House.
Freedom House official site
Freedom House Records, 1933–2013: Finding Aid, Seeley G. Mudd
Manuscript Library, Princeton University Library.
George Field Collection of
Freedom House Files, 1933–1990 (Bulk
1941–1969): Finding Aid, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library,
Princeton University Library.
Freedom House Files", Diana Barahona, Monthly Review, March 1,
Freedom House Annual Reports (2001-2010) and Financial Statements
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