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About Freedom in the World

Methodology

Each numbered question is assigned a score of 0–4 (except for discretionary question A, for which 1–4 points may be added, and discretionary question B, for which 1–4 points may be subtracted), according to the survey methodology.

Political Rights Questions

A. ELECTORAL PROCESS

  1. Is the head of government or other chief national authority elected through free and fair elections?
  2. Are the national legislative representatives elected through free and fair elections?
  3. Are the electoral laws and framework fair?

B. POLITICAL PLURALISM AND PARTICIPATION

  1. Do the people have the right to organize in different political parties or other competitive political groupings of their choice, and is the system open to the rise and fall of these competing parties or groupings?
  2. Is there a significant opposition vote and a realistic possibility for the opposition to increase its support or gain power through elections?
  3. Are the people's political choices free from domination by the military, foreign powers, totalitarian parties, religious hierarchies, economic oligarchies, or any other powerful group?
  4. Do cultural, ethnic, religious, or other minority groups have full political rights and electoral opportunities?

C. FUNCTIONING OF GOVERNMENT

  1. Do the freely elected head of government and national legislative representatives determine the policies of the government?
  2. Is the government free from pervasive corruption?
  3. Is the government accountable to the electorate between elections, and does it operate with openness and transparency?

Additional Discretionary Political Rights Questions

A. For traditional monarchies that have no parties or electoral process, does the system provide for genuine, meaningful consultation with the people, encourage public discussion of policy choices, and allow the right to petition the ruler?

B. Is the government or occupying power deliberately changing the ethnic composition of a country or territory so as to destroy a culture or tip the political balance in favor of another group?

Civil Liberties Questions

D. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND BELIEF

  1. Are there free and independent media and other forms of cultural expression? (Note: In cases where the media are state controlled but offer pluralistic points of view, the survey gives the system credit.)
  2. Are religious institutions and communities free to practice their faith and express themselves in public and private?
  3. Is there academic freedom, and is the educational system free of extensive political indoctrination?
  4. Is there open and free private discussion?

E. ASSOCIATIONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL RIGHTS

  1. Is there freedom of assembly, demonstration, and open public discussion?
  2. Is there freedom for nongovernmental organizations? (Note: This includes civic organizations, interest groups, foundations, etc.)
  3. Are there free trade unions and peasant organizations or equivalents, and is there effective collective bargaining? Are there free professional and other private organizations?

F. RULE OF LAW

  1. Is there an independent judiciary?
  2. Does the rule of law prevail in civil and criminal matters? Are police under direct civilian control?
  3. Is there protection from political terror, unjustified imprisonment, exile, or torture, whether by groups that support or oppose the system? Is there freedom from war and insurgencies?
  4. Do laws, policies, and practices guarantee equal treatment of various segments of the population?

G. PERSONAL AUTONOMY AND INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

  1. Does the state control travel or choice of residence, employment, or institution of higher education?
  2. Do citizens have the right to own property and establish private businesses? Is private business activity unduly influenced by government officials, the security forces, political parties/organizations, or organized crime?
  3. Are there personal social freedoms, including gender equality, choice of marriage partners, and size of family?
  4. Is there equality of opportunity and the absence of economic exploitation?