Printer Frendly Version

About This Site

Democracy Web Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Democracy Web?
    Democracy Web is composed of an interactive world map and an online study guide for teachers developed by the Albert Shanker Institute and Freedom House. Designed for use with upper secondary- and lower college-level students—those who are just commencing their role as citizens—this resource provides a factual and philosophical overview of the principles of democracy and their origins, as well as an examination of how a variety of contemporary political systems function with respect to these principles. The goal is to give students a better understanding of democracy through the comparative study of a wide array of countries. Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual assessment of political rights and civil liberties around the world, and the Albert Shanker Institute's Education for Democracy report provide the organizational framework for the map and study guide.

  2. How do I use Democracy Web?
    Democracy Web includes a study guide and an interactive world map, which is color coded to correspond with the classification of countries as Free, Partly Free, or Not Free in Freedom House's annual survey of political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World. Users can click on any country to access its basic information, its Freedom in the World report, any study-guide materials related to the country, and additional surveys, country assessments, or special reports published by Freedom House. The first section of the study guide is an extended essay on the basic history and architecture of democracy. Each of the 12 chapters that follow examines a key principle of democracy—consent of the governed, elections, constitutional limits, majority rule and minority rights, accountability, multiparty systems, economic freedom, rule of law, human rights, freedom of expression, freedom of association, and freedom of religion—and provides a sample of three country studies, including one Free country, one Partly Free country, and one Not Free country, to show how that chapter's principle works in practice. All of this content can be reached either through specific country searches or by beginning with the general principles of modern democracy, allowing teachers and students to explore the connections from multiple angles. Extensive resource lists and ideas for further study are also included. See "How to use this site" for more information.

  3. What is Freedom in the World?
    Freedom in the World is Freedom House's annual comparative survey of political rights and civil liberties around the globe. It documents the range of political systems in the world and the extent to which democratic rights and freedoms are enjoyed by those who live under them. The survey bases its judgments on a series of criteria that give separate scores for a country's level of political rights and its array of civil liberties, resulting in an overall designation of each country as Free, Partly Free, or Not Free. As a companion to the survey, Freedom House publishes an annual Map of Freedom, which is color coded to show the freedom designation of each country.

  4. For whom is Democracy Web intended?
    Democracy Web is intended as a study guide for history, social studies, government, and civics teachers of secondary- and college-level students. Teachers may encourage their students to use the interactive map or build lesson plans around the map and study guide, but the materials are intended primarily for the teachers themselves.

  5. Who provided the funding for Democracy Web?
    Freedom House and the Albert Shanker Institute are grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for providing the core funding for this project. The views, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  6. How do I find more information on Democracy Web?
    Please contact us at info@democracyweb.org .