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About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY license.

The book provides a critical and constructive assessment of the many contributions to social science and politics made by Professor R. J. Rummel. Rummel was a prolific writer and an important teacher and mentor to a number of people who in turn have made their mark on the profession. His work has always been controversial. But after the end of the Cold War, his views on genocide and the democratic peace in particular have gained wide recognition in the profession. He was also a pioneer in the use of statistical methods in international relations. His work in not easily classified in the traditional categories of international relations research (realism, idealism, and constructivism). He was by no means a pacifist and his views on the US-Soviet arms race led him to be classified as a hawk. But his work on the democratic peace has become extremely influential among liberal IR scholars and peace researchers. Above all, he was a libertarian.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Open Access

Chapter 1. R.J. Rummel—A Multi-faceted Scholar

Abstract
Rudolph J. Rummel always published just as R.J. Rummel but was well known in the profession as Rudy. He was a man of many talents, and to some of his readers he may also have seemed to present many different faces. He came from a broken home, yet became a devoted husband and father. He had an extensive academic publication record, but he also wrote six novels. He was an academic loner, but acquired a wide following, which has continued to expand after he withdrew from the academic scene and promises to continue to grow even after his death.
Nils Petter Gleditsch

Open Access

Chapter 2. Dad

Abstract
In 1980, I left Hawaii to attend American University in our nation’s capital. My first class was Introduction to American Politics and the professor called out roll on the first day. After I’d heard my name and raised my hand, the professor paused and looked me over. ‘Are you related to Professor Rudolph Rummel in Hawaii?’ Stunned, I said, ‘He’s my father.’ I had sat at the back of a horseshoe-shaped arrangement of tables and chairs, and everyone turned to look at me while the professor launched into an adoring speech about the value of my father’s research and theories. I basked in a brief sensation of being the child of a celebrity.
Dawn Akemi

Open Access

Chapter 3. R.J. Rummel, Citizen Scholar: An Interview on the Occasion of His Retirement

Abstract
Rudy Rummel’s motivating passion—his lifelong aversion to conflict and violence—was eclipsed only by the fierce independence born of his experience as a homeless youth from a broken family. His scholarship was characterized by his exceptionally rigorous and open-minded quest to test theoretical explanations with empirical data while explicating the associated assumptions and normative implications. His legacy, however, lives on in his example of a citizen scholar, whose commitment to take intellectual discussions beyond the academy into practice as he sought in everything he did to realize freedom and dignity with peace.
Doug Bond

Open Access

Chapter 4. Rummel as a Great Teacher

Abstract
Professor R.J. Rummel passed away in the spring of 2014. The ashes of his body are now floating on the waves of the beautiful Kaneohe Bay he had loved so much, but his soul and teaching will live on in the minds of his students. For them he will forever remain a ‘Great Teacher.’
Sang-Woo Rhee

Open Access

Chapter 5. Contextualizing Rummel’s Field Theory

Abstract
I first met Rudy in 1962 when I was an incoming graduate student at Northwestern University. Harold Guetzkow was then the principal investigator of the Dimensionality of Nations (DON) Project, Harold appointed Rudy as his project supervisor while Rudy was working on his dissertation. I was recruited by Harold to work on the project as a data collector and statistical analyst. We worked well together because of the rigor with which Rudy pursued his work on the DON Project, an integral part of his thesis research.
Richard W. Chadwick

Open Access

Chapter 6. R.J. Rummel, Nuclear Superiority, and the Limits of Détente

Abstract
Amid the intense security competition of the Cold War, the decade-long détente between the United States and Soviet Union stands out to many as a moment of pragmatic cooperation among rivals. The 1970s saw, among other developments, the adoption of arms control treaties such as SALT I and II, scientific collaboration between astronauts and cosmonauts, and the expanding of trade ties between Washington and Moscow.
Matthew Kroenig, Bardia Rahmani

Open Access

Chapter 7. Rummel’s Unfinished Legacy: Reconciling Peace Research and Realpolitik

Abstract
Rudy Rummel consistently was a bold and innovative scholar. In the 1960s, the field of international relations was still in the grip of contemporary and diplomatic historians or international lawyers. This did not satisfy him. He looked for a more scientific approach modeled on the natural sciences.
Erich Weede

Open Access

Chapter 8. Understanding Conflict and War: An Overlooked Classic?

Abstract
Soon after it was published, a perspicacious review of R.J. Rummel’s Understanding Conflict and War (UCW) predicted that the work would ‘not have the immediate impact … that one might otherwise expect from a work of such scope written by one of the more famous names in the field’ (Ray, 1982: 185). By 1988, Rummel himself acknowledged regarding UCW that ‘I did not expect it to be a hit’, but that ‘I was not prepared … for UCW to be so widely ignored’ (personal correspondence).
James Lee Ray

Open Access

Chapter 9. Rummel and Singer, DON and COW

Abstract
When the scientific revolution in the study of international relations (IR) started in the 1960s, two prominent early pioneers who had particularly lasting impact on the field were Rudolph J. Rummel and J. David Singer.
Frank Whelon Wayman

Open Access

Chapter 10. Regime Type Matters

Abstract
Rummel’s pioneering work is giving us a revolutionary, practical solution to violence between states (war) and between people and state (democide): democracy. He finds ‘regime type’ (kind of government) to be one of the strongest explanations for war and democide because it deals with restraining government power
H.-C. Peterson

Open Access

Chapter 11. Democracy as a Method of Nonviolence

Abstract
In his seminal book Power Kills, Rummel (1997) summarizes decades of research on the democratic peace to make a single, pointed argument: that the worst kinds of violence—mass killings carried out by governments—are entirely explained by the tyrannical nature of the regime that commit such crimes.
Erica Chenoweth

Open Access

Chapter 12. The Comparative Analysis of Mass Atrocities and Genocide

Abstract
Rudolph Rummel and I are both products of Northwestern University’s Ph.D. program—although I graduated 18 years later. Thanks to him, I already knew something about factor analysis, having read his dissertation. I was equally familiar with arguments about peace among democratic states, because my major was in international relations with a minor in jurisprudence (i.e. international law) and another in comparative studies. The democratic peace argument filtered much later into comparative studies of civil conflict in democratic societies and made much sense to me in theory, the way it became a major focus in Rudy’s work on mass death and genocide.
Barbara Harff

Open Access

Chapter 13. Curriculum Vitae and Publications

Abstract
BA, political science, 1959, University of Hawaii.
Rudolph J. Rummel

Backmatter

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