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R. J. Rummel b, 1932, BA and MA from the University of Hawaii (1959, 1961); Ph.D. in Political Science (Northwestern University, 1963); Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa. Taught at Indiana University (1963), Yale (1964-66), University of Hawaii (1966-1995); now Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Hawaii. Received numerous grants from NSF, ARPA, and the United States Peace Research Institute. Finalist for 1996 Nobel Peace Prize. Wrote about two-dozen books and over 100 professional articles. Most recent books: Death By Government (Transaction Publications, 1994), The Miracle That Is Freedom (Martin Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, University of Idaho, 1996), Power Kills (Transaction Publications, 1997), and Statistics of Democide (Center for National Security Law, 1997).

Through his undergraduate term papers, MA Thesis, Ph.D. dissertation, and academic career, R.J. Rummel has focused his research on the causes and conditions of collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination. He published his major results in Understanding Conflict and War, Vols. 1-5 (Sage Publications, 1975-1981). His conclusion was that "To eliminate war, to restrain violence, to nurture universal peace and justice, is to foster freedom (liberal democracy)." Given the supreme importance of this conclusion published in 1981, Rummel 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 (as in his Death By Government). All this theoretical, empirical, and comparative research is documented in his final work, Power Kills, nominated for the 1998 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.

Power Kills sums up Rummel's research career and reaffirms and extends his earlier work. In theory and fact, democracies do not (or virtually never) make war on each other; the more democratic two regimes, the less likely violence between them; the more democratic a regime, the less its overall foreign violence; and the more democratic a regime, the less its genocide and mass murder (which in this century has killed about four times the battle dead of all its foreign and domestic wars).

In sum, then, all this research shows that democracy is a method of nonviolence--that power kills. This research thus contributes to world order by showing empirically, historically, and theoretically that a route to greater world peace and security of life is by fostering liberal democracy.

See also Rummel's Curriculum Vita and "An Exclusive Freeman Interview: Rudolph Rummel Talks About the Miracle of Liberty and Peace," THE FREEMAN 47 (July 1997), 396-403.

Numerous writings by R.J.Rummel are available on his website at:

Publications available on IDEA:

When and Why to Use the Term Democide for “Genocide”
January 15, 2001 Vol.6, no.1
The Holocaust in Comparative and Historical Perspective
April 1, 1998 Vol.3, no.2