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Democracy beyond the numbers: The latest Freedom House’s Nations in Transit 2017 report and a practitioner’s take

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm

Zselyke Csaky
Senior Researcher at Nations in Transit, Freedom House 

Freedom House has been publishing Nations in Transit (NIT), an annual survey of democratic governance in the former communist space since 1995. This year NIT recorded its 13th year of straight declines, with the institutional underpinnings of democracy weakening in more than half of the countries covered in the survey. In the other half, NIT mostly observed stagnation and a few exceptions of hope.

This presentation will discuss democratic trends in Central Europe, Eurasia, and the Balkans, as well as the methodological question of how Freedom House and Nations in Transit evaluate democracy. In the first part I will go over practical considerations and questions of methodology, while the second part will be dedicated to historical data and highlights of NIT's most recent findings.

Zselyke Csaky is a senior researcher for Nations in Transit with over six years of experience in the human rights field and a primary focus on the politics of Central Europe and press freedom. Prior to joining Freedom House, she was a researcher at Amnesty International and the International Service for Human Rights.