Freedom in the World is an institutional effort by FreedomHouse to monitor the progress and decline of political rightsand civil liberties in 192 nations and 17 related and disputedterritories. These year-end reviews of freedom began in1955, when they were called the Balance Sheet of Freedomand,still later, the Annual Survey of the Progress of Freedom. Thisprogram was expanded in the early 1970s, and has been issuedin a more developed context as a yearbook since 1978.Since 1989, this distinguished Survey project has been a yearlongeffort produced by regional experts, consultants, and humanrights specialists. It derives its information from a widerange of authoritative sources. Most valued of these are the manyhuman rights activists, journalists, editors, and political figureswho keep the world informed of the human rights situation intheir own countries. Throughout the year, Freedom House personnel regularly conductfact-finding missions to gain in-depth knowledge of the vastpolitical transformations affecting our world,. These investigationsmake every effort to include meetings with a cross-sectionof political parties and associations, human rights monitors, religiousfigures, representatives of both the private sector and tradeunion movement, academics, and journalists. Freedom in theWorld is now the standard reference work for measuring progress,or the lack thereof, in the process of regime democratization andpolitical maturity. Adrian Karatnycky is the president of Freedom House. AiliPiano is a senior researcher at Freedom House. This year's surveyteam includes: Martin Edwin Andersen, Gordon Bardos,Michael Goldfarb, Charles Graybow, Kristen Guida, Karin DeutschKarlekar, Edward R. McMahon, Aili Piano, Arch Puddington,Amanda Schnetzer, Cindy Shiner, Leonard R. Sussman, and KendraZaharescu.