Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Liberty and Tyranny Worldwide
Freedom House, a political think tank founded by Eleanor Roosevelt and others, releases an annual report on political and civil freedoms in various countries. Freedom in the World (online version/PDF version) documents and rates countries by the various liberties the citizens have or lack. Countries are ranked as free, partially free, or not free.
The map resembles the Core/Gap map from Tom Barnett's Pentagon's New Map. There are notable exceptions though with some countries in Africa and Latin America especially. The correlation is that the more a country is integrated into the global system (globalization) the more likely the country is to be free. Much like Pinochet learned while he was dictator of Chile, free markets and civil liberties go hand and hand.
The report also estimates that forty-six percent of all people live in "free" countries while thirty-six percent live in "not free" countries such as Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, etc.
The trend of free countries over partially free and not free is fortunately growing. In 1975 there were only 40 free countries compared to 53 partially free and 65 not free. As of 2005 the ratio is 89:58:45.
There are several interesting countries to note. Northern Cyprus (Turkey's satellite state) is rated as free compared to Turkey being only partially free. Maybe this is do to Northern Cyprus being run by left-wing Turks but it is worthy of further study. The Palestinian Controlled areas are rated as partially free while Israeli-occupied West Bank is rated not free.