Freedom in the World is a yearly survey and report by the U.S.-based non-governmental organization Freedom House that measures the degree of civil liberties and political rights in every nation and significant related and disputed territories around the world.
With populist and nationalist forces making significant gains in democratic states marked the 11th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.
All of these developments point to a growing danger that the international order of the past quarter-century-rooted in the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law—will give way to the world in which individual leaders and nations pursue their own narrow interests without meaningful constraints and without regard for the shared benefits of global peace, freedom, and prosperity.
The troubling impression created by the year’s headline events is supported by the latest findings of Freedom in the World. A total of 67 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties, compared with 36 that registered gains. This marked the 11th consecutive year in which declines outnumbered improvements.
While in past years the declines in freedom were generally concentrated among autocracies and dictatorships that simply went from bad to worse it was established democracies—countries rated Free in the report’s ranking system-that dominated the list of countries suffering setbacks.