Foreign Affairs Friday: A Useful Resource

When you read an international news story, such as this one about Fiji being suspended from the Pacific Islands Forum because of a lack of progress in returning to democratic governance, you might think, "What's really the deal in that country?"

When I have that question, I often turn to the Freedom House rankings. They rank each state on a scale of 1 to 7 in political and civil rights, with 1 being the most free. Countries are then labeled as "free," "partly free," or "not free." In the case of Fiji, it gets a 6 for political rights and 4 for civil rights, with a label of "partly free." The site also gives information explaining the ranking. One can track a country over time based on these rankings to understand how things are changing, for better or worse. Next time you ask yourself, "what's really the deal in that country," which I'm sure will be soon, now you know how to find the answer.

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