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Blogpost: How to Measure Democracy – The Freedom House Survey of Political and Civil Liberties – Artur Victoria Studies | How to Study Hard
Freedom House started publishing in 1973 and its aim was to provoke a discussion about the levels of political freedom. Even if the survey rated the level of freedom in all the countries in the world, actually it was concerned with the measurement of political democracy. Only one person performed the first surveys without any research staff. This may be an advantage because of the possible biases that a research staff might have. The survey was also considered by some as too rightist, and Freedom House itself continues to have a somewhat pro-Republican reputation. The critics were usually too general with no emphasis on the indicators or other elements of the surveys. As any survey that contains a large number of cases this also gives only a rough account of the development of democracy. It often disregards certain nuances that are connected to the relations between institutions, or how certain institutions as well as procedures take different shapes from country to country.