Freedom House Signature Reports

Nations in Transit 2013: Authoritarian Aggression and the Pressures of Austerity

by Sylvana Habdank-Kolaczkowska

Nations in Transit 2013 is Freedom House’s comprehensive, comparative study of democratic development in 29 countries from Central Europe to Eurasia. This edition covers the period from January 1 through December 31, 2012 and measures progress according to the following indicators:  electoral process, civil society, independent media, national democratic governance, local democratic governance, judicial framework and independence, and corruption.

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The 2013 index, which provides analytical reports and numerical ratings for 197 countries and territories, continues a process conducted since 1980 by Freedom House. The findings are widely used by governments, international organizations, academics, activists, 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. Assigning numerical points allows for comparative analysis among the countries surveyed and facilitates an examination of trends over time. The degree to which each country permits the free flow of news and information determines the classification of its media as “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free.” 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 criteria for such judgments and the arithmetic scheme for displaying the judgments are described in the following section. The ratings and reports included in Freedom of the Press 2013 cover events that took place between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2012.

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The Right to Blog

Policy Brief – 2013

Executive summary

In this policy paper, ARTICLE 19 proposes a set of recommendations to state actors and policy makers about what they should do to promote and protect the rights of bloggers domestically and internationally. It also gives practical advice to bloggers about their rights and explains how – and in what situations – they can invoke some of the privileges and defences that traditional journalists have found vital to the integrity of their work.

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Journal of Social and Political Studies


KEYWORDS: Afghanistan; ethnic groups, political system; election campaigns, representation of ethnic groups, unity of the state.

Throughout the 20th century, domestic policy in Afghanistan unfolded under the influence of the ethnic factor. In 1929, the mainly Tajik Habibullah Kalakani movement ended the rule of Amanullah Khan; the National Democratic Party of Afghanistan, which split along ethnic lines, was another factor that brought about his downfall. In 1992, the mujahideen came to power; this ignited ethnic confrontation and the country’s de facto division into ethnically homogenous parts. The Islamist Taliban movement,which relied on the Pashtoon majority, established an unprecedentedly cruel regime and made the country the world center of terrorism and extremism.In 2001, the International Conference on Afghanistan held in Bonn could not ignore the role of the ethnic factor; it figured prominently while the Constitution was discussed and later adopted, as well as during the parliamentary and presidential elections

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