Transparency International seeks to provide reliable quantitative diagnostic tools regarding levels of transparency and corruption, both at global and local levels. Also see their annual Global Corruption Report, which has reports by country.
Freedom House has long been known for its respected ratings of political rights, civil liberties, and more recently, press freedom. The country pages provide detailed background information (including ethnic and religious groups) and explanations of the ratings.
Originally a research project on political instability funded by the CIA, now a public-private-academic partnership that's taken on a life of its own. There is, unfortunately, no state failure ranking. There are, however, research reports, listing variables that explain historical state failures with 80-plus percent accuracy. Also includes downloadable data on state failures, quite useful for those designing their own political risk models that will change the world.
B-READY improves upon and replaces Doing Business. Updates on the development of the new B-READY project will be published on this website as they become available. You can use the "Doing Business" profiles until they change over.