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Encyclopedia > R. J. Rummel
Rudolph Joseph Rummel
Rudolph Joseph Rummel

Rudolph Joseph Rummel (born October 21, 1932) is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He has spent his career assembling data on collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination. Rummel coined the term democide for murder by government, his research claiming that six times as many people died of democide during the 20th century than in all that century's wars combined.[3] He concludes that democracy is the form of government least likely to kill its citizens and that democracies do not (or virtually never) make war on each other.[4] February 2006 : ← - January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December- → 1 February 2006 (Wednesday) Governor of West Virginia Joe Manchin asks for a halt in coal mining following two more coal mining deaths in the state that saw fourteen people die in coal mining disasters in... Image File history File links RJRummel. ... Image File history File links RJRummel. ... October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 71 days remaining. ... 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... A professor is a senior teacher and researcher, usually in a college or university. ... Political science is a social science discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. ... Jean Charlots mural called Commencement is featured at Bachman Hall, the administrative center of the University of Hawai`i System. ... Democide is a term created by political scientist R.J. Rummel in order to create a broader concept than the legal definition of genocide. ...


Rummel is the author of 24 scholarly books, and published his major results in Understanding Conflict and War (1975-81). He then spent the next fifteen years refining the underlying theory and testing it empirically on new data, against the empirical results of others, and on case studies. Power Kills (1997) sums up Rummel's research. Other works include Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocides and Mass Murders 1917-1987 (1990); China's Bloody Century: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900 (1991); Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder (1992); Death by Government (1994); and Statistics of Democide (1997). Extracts, figures, and tables from the books, including his sources and details regarding the calculations, are available online on his website. Rummel has also authored Understanding Factor Analysis (1970) and Understanding Correlation (1976). He is the author of the Never again series of alternative-history novels, in which a secret society sends two lovers armed with fabulous wealth and modern weapons back to 1906 with orders to create an alternative, peaceful century. These works are available online.

Contents


Career

He received his BA and MA from the University of Hawaii in 1959 and 1961 respectively, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University in 1963. He began his teaching career at Indiana University. In 1964 he moved to Yale and finally in 1966 returned to the University of Hawaii, where he spent the rest of his active career. In 1995 he retired and became Professor Emeritus of Political Science. His research was supported by grants from the NSF, ARPA, and the United States Peace Research Institute. [5] 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... For the Nintendo 64 emulator, see 1964 (Emulator). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ... 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Rummel has written about two dozen books and over 100 professional articles. His book Applied Factor Analysis was selected as a "Citation Classic" by Institute for Scientific Information in 1987. He received the Susan Strange Award of the International Studies Association in 1999 for having intellectually most challenged the field, and in 2003 was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conflict Processes Section, American Political Science Association. [6][7] The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) was founded by Eugene Garfield in 1960. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A group of scholars and practitioners founded the International Studies Association (ISA) in 1959 to pursue mutual interests in international studies. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The American Political Science Association, founded in 1903, serves more than 15,000 members in more than 80 countries, bringing a variety of services to political scientists both inside and outside academic institutions. ...


Rummel used to publicly claim that he was a finalist for the Nobel Prize for Peace, based on an AP report, reprinted in his local paper, about an alleged Nobel short list of 117 names. He has retracted the claim, although it still appeared on his website [8] as of March, 2006. Per Ahlmark, Swedish writer and the former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, pledged in 1999 to nominate Rummel for a decade.[9] Nobel nominations are inherently impossible to verify, since the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation [10] expressly prohibit both nominators[11] and the foundation itself from disclosing information about nominations and deliberations for a period of fifty years. Accordingly, there is no independent means of confirming that the nomination was actually made, nor is there any way to know whether such a public nomination was taken seriously by the committee. The Nobel Peace Prize (where Nobel is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable) is one of five Nobel Prizes bequested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. ... Per Ahlmark Photo: Ann Ek Per Axel Ahlmark (born January 15, 1939) is a Swedish writer and former politician. ...


Rummel has further stated: "What is evident in communication on this is that the Northern Europeans with whom I am in contact seem to have a nonchalant attitude toward the Nobel Peace Nomination. Americans do not. Of whatever I've achieved, this is the one thing that people center on, and that gives my research on the democratic peace and its promotion the most credibility for Americans." [12]


Research

Democratic peace

Democratic Peace Charts by Rummel, presenting research by him and others. High resolution PDF files can be found here [1][2].
Democratic Peace Charts by Rummel, presenting research by him and others. High resolution PDF files can be found here [1][2].

Rummel was one of the early researchers on democratic peace theory, after Dean Babst.[13] Image File history File links Download high resolution version (720x900, 133 KB) This is a copyrighted image that has been released by a company or organization to promote their work or product in the media, such as advertising material or a promotional photo in a press kit. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (720x900, 133 KB) This is a copyrighted image that has been released by a company or organization to promote their work or product in the media, such as advertising material or a promotional photo in a press kit. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (720x900, 85 KB) This is a copyrighted image that has been released by a company or organization to promote their work or product in the media, such as advertising material or a promotional photo in a press kit. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (720x900, 85 KB) This is a copyrighted image that has been released by a company or organization to promote their work or product in the media, such as advertising material or a promotional photo in a press kit. ... This article or section may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer or more simplified. ...


His theory of the democratic peace has several distinctive features, each disputed by many who support the existence and explanatory power of the democratic peace(disputed ):

  • Rummel holds that democracies are less warlike, even against non-democracies. Many other researchers hold only that democracies that democracies are far less warlike with each other. Some recent studies have supported Rummel's position. [1]
  • Rummel holds that democracies (properly defined) never go to war each other; and this is a "absolute or (point) claim". Some other researchers find that, whether there have actually been a couple exceptions yet, or not, this is a chance, or stochastic, matter; Bremer 1992; Rummel is deterministic. [14] Many other researchers have also stated no wars. [2]

Rummel's defintion of democracy is "where those who hold power are elected in competitive elections with a secret ballot and wide franchise (loosely understood as including at least 2/3rds of adult males); where there is freedom of speech, religion, and organization; and a constitutional framework of law to which the government is subordinate and that guarantees equal rights". In addition, it should be "well-established". He states "enough time has passed since its inception for peace-sufficient democratic procedures to become accepted and democratic culture to settle in. Around three years seems to be enough for this". [15] Stochastic, from the Greek stochos or goal, means of, relating to, or characterized by conjecture; conjectural; random. ...


Rummel does not always use this definition; nor does he always take pains to indicate when he is not. The opening paragraphs of this same appendix, for example, [16] adopt Michael Doyle's lists of liberal democracies for 1776-1800 and 1800-1850.[17] Doyle uses a much looser definition: The secret ballot was first adopted, by Tasmania, in 1856, and Belgium had barely 10% adult male suffrage before 1894. Emblems: Flora Tasmanian Blue Gum Fauna none Motto: Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Slogan or Nickname: The Apple Isle Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Governor Premier Const. ...


He adopts the definition of a popular database: War is a conflict causing at least 1000 battle deaths. There has also been research showing that there have been fewer conflicts smaller than this (Militarized Interstate Disputes) between democracies. Militarized Interstate Disputes (or MIDs) are conflicts between states that do not involve a full scale war. ...


Using these definitions, Rummel finds that in the 1816-2005 period there were 205 wars between nondemocracies, 166 wars between nondemocracies and democracies, and 0 wars between democracies.


Rummel explains the peace thus: "Start with the answer of the philosopher Immanual Kant to why universalizing republics (democracy was a bad word for Classical Liberals in his time) would create a peaceful world. People would not support and vote for wars in which they and their loved ones could die and lose their property. But this is only partly correct, for the people can get aroused against nondemocracies and push their leaders toward war, as in the Spanish-American War. A deeper explanation is that where people are free, they create an exchange society of overlapping groups and multiple and crosschecking centers of power. In such a society a culture of negotiation, tolerance, and splitting differences develops. Moreover, free people develop an in-group orientation toward other such societies, a feeling of shared norms and ideals that militates against violence toward other free societies"[18]


Democide

Main article: Democide

Rummel is the creator of the term democide: "the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder". He has further stated: "I use the civil definition of murder, where someone can be guilty of murder if they are responsible in a reckless and wanton way for the loss of life, as in incarcerating people in camps where the may soon die of malnutrition, unattended disease, and forced labor, or deporting them into wastelands where they may die rapidly from exposure and disease." Democide is a term created by political scientist R.J. Rummel in order to create a broader concept than the legal definition of genocide. ... Democide is a term created by political scientist R.J. Rummel in order to create a broader concept than the legal definition of genocide. ... Genocide is defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) article 2 as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: Killing members of the group; Causing...


As an example, Rummel until recently did not classify the Great Leap Forward as democide. He believed that Mao's policies were largely responsible for the famine, but he was misled about it, and finally when he found out, he stopped it and changed his policies. Thus not an intentional famine and thus not a democide. New information from Mao: the Unknown Story states that Mao knew about the famine from the beginning and didn't care. Eventually he had to be stopped by a meeting of 7,000 top Communist Party members. Thus the famine was intentional and a democide.[19] It should be noted that estimates of democide are very politically sensitive and this estimate, like many others, is disputed. Scholars often give widely different figures for numbers killed.


Rummel's sources include scholarly works, refugee reports, memoirs, biographies, historical analyses, actual exhumed body counts, records kept by the murderers themselves, and so on. In short his data are all estimates available in English for all nations over a period of a century, and available in the libraries he worked in, including the Library of Congress. The Great Hall interior. ...


He provides a most probable death toll and a low and a high that are meant to be the most unlikely low and high, and thus to bracket the probable true count. It is to determine these lows and highs that he includes what some others might consider absurd estimates.[20] His published books do not include new research and new sources available after the publication date.


His research shows that the death toll from democide is far greater than the death toll from war. After studying over 8,000 reports of government-caused deaths, Rummel estimates that there have been 262 million victims of democide in the last century. According to his figures, six times as many people have died from at the hands of people working for governments than have died in battle.


He argues that there is a relation between political power and democide. Political mass murder grows increasingly common as political power becomes unconstrained. At the other end of the scale, where power is diffuse, checked, and balanced, political violence is a rarity. According to Rummel, "The more power a regime has, the more likely people will be killed. This is a major reason for promoting freedom." Rummel concludes: "Concentrated political power is the most dangerous thing on earth."


Rummel argues that the continuing increase in democracy worldwide will soon lead to an end to wars and democide, possibly around or even before the middle of this century.[21] He has an extensive FAQ on his webpage, answering many questions and objections regarding the democratic peace and democide.[22] He has also published a book, Never Again: Ending War, Democide, & Famine Through Democratic on his website. This book aims at popularizing his findings and is available as a free download. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Famine, economic growth, and happiness

Rummel does not include famine in democide unless it is deliberate, like the Holodomor. However, he argues that there have been no famines in democracies, deliberate or not.[23] He also argues that democracy is an important factor for economic growth and raising living standards.[24][25] As another argument for democracy, he points to research showing that average happiness in a nation increases with more democracy.[26] A famine is a phenomenon in which a large percentage of the population of a region or country are so undernourished that death by starvation becomes increasingly common. ... Child victim of the Holodomor The Holodomor (Ukrainian: ) was a famine on the territory of Soviet Ukraine in the years 1932–1933. ...


Criticisms

Rummel's first work on democratic peace received little attention. His results were incorporated in a "gigantic philosophical scheme" of 33 propositions in a 5 volume work, whose "immoderate pretensions", together with Rummel's "unrelenting" economic liberalism and "extreme" views on defense policy, may have distracted readers from his more conventionally acceptable propositions. [27] (Quotations from Nils Pedder Gleditsch: "Democracy and Peace" (1995), a paper that warmly defends the existence of democratic peace, and asserts that it, and the difficulty distant states have in waging war against each other, fully account for the phenomena.)


The democratic peace theory is now one of great controversies in political science and one of the main challenges to realism in international relations. More than a hundred different researchers have published multiple articles in this field according to an incomplete biography.[28] Some critics argue that there have been exceptions to the democratic peace. Rummel discusses some claimed exceptions in his FAQ [29] and he has referred to books by other scholars such as Never at War. There are also various other criticisms as discussed in the democratic peace theory article. Political science is a social science discipline that deals with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior. ... Main International Relations Theories and derivates Realism & Neorealism Idealism, Liberalism & Neoliberalism Marxism & Dependency theory Functionalism & Neofunctionalism Critical theory & Constructivism The term realism or political realism comes from the German compound word Realpolitik, from the words real (meaning realistic, practical, or actual) and Politik (meaning politics). It focuses on the balance... Never at War is book by the historian Spencer R. Weart published by Yale University Press in 1998. ... This article or section may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer or more simplified. ...


Most estimates of democide are uncertain and scholars often give widely different estimates. Rummel's counts 43 million deaths due to democide during Stalin's regime inside and outside the Soviet Union. This is much higher than an often quoted figure of 20 million. Rummel has responded that this is based on a figure from Robert Conquest's book The Great Terror from 1968 and that Conquest's qualifier "almost certainly too low" is usually forgotten. Conquest's calculations excluded camp deaths after 1950, and before 1936; executions 1939-53; the vast deportation of the people of captive nations into the camps, and their deaths 1939-1953; the massive deportation within the Soviet Union of minorities 1941-1944; and their deaths; and those the Soviet Red Army and secret police executed throughout Eastern Europe after their conquest during 1944-1945. Moreover, the Holodomor that killed 5 million in 1932-1934 is not included.[30] Dr. George Robert Ackworth Conquest (born July 15, 1917), British historian, became one of the best-known writers on the Soviet Union with the publication in 1968 of his classic account of Stalins purges of the 1930s, The Great Terror. ... The Great Terror is the title of a book by British writer Robert Conquest, published in 1968. ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ... Child victim of the Holodomor The Holodomor (Ukrainian: ) was a famine on the territory of Soviet Ukraine in the years 1932–1933. ...


Political views

Rummel is a strong supporter of spreading liberal democracy and a former libertarian. He is also an outspoken critic of communism, although he also severely criticises right-wing dictatorships and the democides that occurred under colonialism. He strongly supports the current War on Terror and the Iraq War. See also Libertarianism and Libertarian Party Libertarian,is a term for person who has made a conscious and principled commitment, evidenced by a statement or Pledge, to forswear violating others rights and usually living in voluntary communities: thus in law no longer subject to government supervision. ... Communism is a philosophical way of thought that pertains to a conjectured future classless, stateless social organization based upon common ownership of the means of production, and can be classified as a branch of the broader socialist movement. ... It has been suggested that Colonisation be merged into this article or section. ... The war on terrorism or war on terror (abbreviated in U.S. policy circles as GWOT for Global War on Terror) is an effort by the governments of the United States and its principal allies to destroy groups deemed to be terrorist (primarily radical Islamist organizations such as al-Qaeda... Combatants Republic of Iraq (Saddam Hussein regime), Baath Loyalists, Iraqi insurgency United States, United Kingdom, Coalition of the Willing, New Iraqi Army For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation) The Iraq War (2003-present) is an ongoing conflict in Iraq[1], which began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq...


Rummel also argues for an intergovernmental organization of all democracies outside of the United Nations to deal with issues about which the UN cannot or will not act, but particularly to further the promotion of peace, human security, human rights, and democracy -- an Alliance of Democracies.[31] United Nations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


"Censorship"

Rummel wrote a blog post titled "Censor the Media", in which he stated


"This is war. If the media has its way and we withdraw immediately from Iraq, or even begin staged withdrawals now with a timetable, the terrorists win. With the support of Syria, this is assured. Then, the resulting democide by the victorious terrorists may well come close to that in South Vietnam after we withdrew. And, so heartened by our lack of will, the terrorists throughout the world could only get more state support, including even possible help on nukes from North Korea or China (somehow, it has been forgotten that China is still ruled by its Communist Party, and our enemy)."


He further stated


"In both World Wars I and II, the media reports on the war were strictly controlled. They must be again. Just in lives alone that might be saved thereby, it is necessary. How far should this go? I would use the censorship of World War II as criteria. This would mean, for example, that news reports of secret commando operations in Iran, or the employment of a secret weapon, or ... well, you get the idea."


This caused some controversy and Rummel in his next blog post stated that he only argued for censorship of military secrets. [32]


"Leftimania"

Rummel has also argued that there is a leftist bias in some parts of the academic world that selectively focus on problems in nations with high political and economic freedom and ignores much worse problems in other nations. He has also criticized the tenure system.[33][34] Tenure commonly refers to academic tenure systems, in which professors (at the university level)—and in some jurisdictions schoolteachers (at primary or secondary school levels)—are granted the right not to be dismissed without cause after an initial probationary period. ...


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