Participation in Global Democracy Survey

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Image: Academic Freedom Index in 2023

International scholarly collaboration is of great importance for understanding global developments. Researchers at FAU’s Institute of Political Science have been collaborating with the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) Institute at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden for five years. They participate in an ambitious data collection project on the global state of democracy by providing area studies expertise and by supporting the data collection on civic space and academic freedom. The V-Dem dataset comprises 450 indicators and aggregates assessments from over 4,000 country experts using customized statistical methods. Twenty-three project managers, 33 regional managers, and five senior scholars coordinate the project. Prof. Dr. Katrin Kinzelbach serves as project manager for one of the eleven V-Dem surveys entitled Civic and Academic Space. Dr. Lars Lott spearheads the work on the Academic Freedom Index (AFI) at the Institute.


The Academic Freedom Index Update 2024, released today, was authored by Lars Lott, Katrin Kinzelbach, and V-Dem Director Staffan Lindberg. It provides an overview of the state of academic freedom in 179 countries, demonstrating that academic freedom is unavailable for 3.6 billion people, or 45.5% of the world’s population. This is comparable to the situation fifty years ago in 1973. At the same time, the AFI data indicates that academic freedom is well protected in 61 countries, home to 1.1 billion people.

An interactive globe visualizing the data of the Academic Freedom Index is available here. The more comprehensive V-Dem dataset, also released today, can be accessed here.

Since 2021, the Volkswagen Foundation has enabled the creation and scientific analysis of AFI data; it supports the index project for a total of five years.