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Countries at the Crossroads 2011

An Analysis of Democratic Governance

Freedom House

Countries at the Crossroads: An Analysis of Democratic Governance evaluates government performance in seventy strategically important countries from across the globe, including emerging market countries and at-risk states. The in-depth comparative analyses and quantitative ratings—examining Accountability and Public Voice, Civil Liberties, Rule of Law, and Anticorruption and Transparency—serve as a valuable tool for public analysts, educators and students, government officials, and the business community. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 774Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-1261-9 • Paperback • February 2012 • $92.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4422-1262-6 • eBook • February 2012 • $89.99 • (£60.00)
Freedom House is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that supports democratic change, monitors freedom, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
This valuable reference is an annual publication from Freedom House, a watchdog organization that monitors countries' political freedom and human rights progress. It supplies information on countries that are 'at a critical turning point' in their political development. The publication analyzes different sets of countries in even and odd years. The 2010 edition furnishes information about 32 countries. Making comparisons between the different editions is easy because they use similar rankings, and the country articles follow a uniform format (for the 2006 report, see CH, Apr'07, 44-4207). Freedom House authors take surveys to assess factors such as accountability and public voice, civil liberties, rule of law, and anticorruption and transparency. Numerical scales range from one to seven, with seven being the highest score. The rankings are presented in well-organized tables. Report authors follow prescribed guidelines to write corresponding narratives and recommendations. They present evidence showing general decreases in political freedom in the countries covered....This illuminating reference will be useful for both undergraduate and graduate collections. Summing Up: Recommended.

Countries at the Crossroads manages to achieve the best of both worlds. A precise, standardized measurement tool for civil liberties, rule of law, corruption, and accountability allows meaningful comparisons across countries and across time. At the same time, in-depth narratives put flesh on the bones and provide concrete prescriptions for reform.
Jack Snyder, Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations, Columbia University

In a short period of time, Countries at the Crossroads has managed to become an invaluable source for analysts, practitioners, and policy makers working on governance and development. Crossroads' integration of quantitative indices and in-depth qualitative descriptions is particularly noteworthy. So is its perspective on the meaning of governance, which is much more than technocratic public sector performance: Crossroads emphasizes the importance of civil liberties and democratic accountability, the rule of law, and anticorruption and transparency efforts.
Daniel Kaufmann, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and former Director of Governance and Anti-Corruption, World Bank Institute, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution and former Director of Governance and Anti-Corruption, World Bank Institute

Countries at the Crossroads has established itself as a rigorous and comprehensive analytical tool that helps explain the depth and trajectory of governance reforms in a set of strategically relevant countries. At a time when policy makers and assistance providers are seeking more effective ways to support democratic reforms in at-risk and newly democratizing states, Countries at the Crossroads' detailed country narratives and comparative data provide invaluable guidance.
Morton H. Halperin, Senior Advisor, Open Society Institute

Countries at the Crossroads is an outstanding collection of in-depth, yet concise and accessible assessments of the state of democratic governance in countries that are politically fluid or strategically important. An invaluable supplement to Freedom in the World and an indispensable handbook for scholars and policymakers.
Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University