China & the Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy

“… The increasing truculence  of the world’s most powerful authoritarian regimes has coincided with a growing inability or unwillingness on the part of the world’s democracies to meet the authoritarian challenge, with  important consequences for the state of global freedom. According to Freedom in the World 2011, the latest edition of Freedom House’s annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties, conditions worsened for the fifth consecutive year in 2010.”

– Arch Puddington in Freedom in the World 2011: The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy

In the Freedom House survey, each independent nation (listed alphabetically) is evaluated on a 1-7 scale:

The Freedom House survey also classified 194 independent countries into three general categories: 87 countries were designated as Free; 60 countries qualified as Partly Free; and…

A total of 47 countries were deemed Not Free, representing 24 percent of the world’s polities. The number of people living under Not Free conditions stood at 2,434,250,000, or 35 percent of the global population, though it is important to note that more than half of this number lives in just one country: China.

In related news:

NGM Editor Chris Johns & EVP Terry Adamson celebrate National Geographic's new publishing partnership in the People's Republic of China. (2007)

Chris & Terry clink glasses with our new partners in the PRC.

Chris & Terry stand tall with our new partners in the PRC.

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≡  photos via NGM-China

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