Constructing Freedom of Expression Indicators: Lessons from a research project on the operationalization of inter-American standards


This paper aims to present the first results of a research project oriented to: a) operationalize inter-American standards on freedom of expression in an indicator matrix and b) use this matrix of indicators as a roadmap for the design and evaluation of public policies on freedom of expression of the Mexican State.

Beyond the importance of this material to detect the most urgent problems in the Mexican public policy on freedom of expression, we believe that the the matrix can be useful for researchers from other regions, interested in comparative analysis and comparative public policy. It may also contribute to address one of the questions of this panel, related to the usefulness of the international standards of the United Nations as an input for the elaboration of transnational regulatory frameworks on freedom of expression.

In order to contribute to this last objective, we will focus our presentation on the presentation of the methodological framework of the project. After presenting the methodology, we will describe in a second section the matrix, which contains about seventy indicators organized in ten analysis dimensions. In a third section we will present a fragment of our empirical work, in order to illustrate the methodology and discuss its usefulness.

The project “Freedom of Expression in Mexico: A proposal to evaluate public policies on freedom of expression from a Human Rights perspective”, started 18 months ago with financing of the Mexican Secretary of Public Education.