In collaboration with Phil Paine, a long-time friend and independent scholar, I have been thinking about the history of democracy as a world phenomenon for over ten years. In between other projects, he and I have written a number of short pieces on this topic, one of which, "Democracy's Place in World History," was published in the Journal of World History in 1993 and republished in Bring History Alive!: A Source Book For Teaching World History ([U.S.] National Center for History in the Schools, UCLA) in 1997.
We aim at a book. As a stepping-stone to this goal, we are pre-publishing on the web some of what we have already written. Perhaps our material will be of some use to you readers. We hope in return that you will critique the work, suggest new avenues of investigation, and give us leads to relevant books and articles that we have overlooked. When you are doing world history, overlooking things is easy.
The second purpose of this site is to gather materials that will make the investigation of the world history of democracy a little less difficult. Initially this includes four short bibliographies I have compiled in the course of my own research. I make no great claims for them, except that they may help someone else get started. I've also provided some links to relevant resources on the web.
Previous visitors to this site may be particularly
interested in Phil
Paine's personal meditations on democracy and dictatorship.
Writings on the World History of Democracy
by Steve Muhlberger and Phil Paine
A World History of Democracy: Part of a Draft Survey Other essays
Chronology of Modern Democracy: Five Different Views
compiled by Steve Muhlberger
Meditations on Democracy and Dictatorship (2007-8)
by Phil Paine
Brief Reflections on Recent Events
by Steve Muhlberger
An Eclectic Bibliography of the World History of Democracy
compiled by Steve MuhlbergerEclectic is the word, because it's not a "complete" anything. Nevertheless, I hope readers will find these lists useful.
- Native American Political Systems and the Evolution of Democracy: An Annotated Bibliography by Bruce E. Johansen of the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
- Suggestions from our readers.
- Reviews available on the Internet.
I have listed here some information sources available on-line, and some links to organizations concerned with issues of democracy and human rights. I've not tried to be comprehensive -- I've just included what I consider most interesting. If it's not here and you think it is good and useful, maybe I don't know about it yet.
- Essays, Opinion Pieces, Scholarly Sites and Syllabi elsewhere on the Web
- Democracy, Civilization, and World Order was a seminar given at Indiana University in Spring, 1999 by Michael McGinnis and Vincent Ostrom. The syllabus is very substantial and includes extensive bibliography.
- Freedom, Democracy, Peace; Power, Democide, and War by R.J. Rummel, perhaps the most prominent proponent of the theory of "democratic peace," broadly that freedom and democracy are antidotes to war and violence. This extensive site provides access to Rummel's writings and other relevant scholarship.
- Surveys of Freedom, Human Rights, and Political Institutions
- Freedom House Surveys are available from the Freedom House home page. These include Freedom In The World, the Survey Of Economic Freedom, the Survey Of Press Freedom, and Nations In Transit, a research report on Central and Eastern Europe and the Newly Independent States, created for USAID. Also Freedom House has issued Democracy's Century, a historical survey of developments since 1900.
- The Amnesty International Library includes a number of AI reports relevant to various human rights issues.
- Human Rights Watch World Report 2007.
- The Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century by Matthew White is an original and useful overview of historical developments in the last century.
- Electoral Systems and Data
- Organizations of Interest (Alphabetical Order)
- Amnesty International.
- Center for the Evolution of Democracy.
- Civil Society International (esp. the section on Research and Opinion on Civil Society).
- Freedom House.
- Human Rights Watch.
- International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).
- International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
- Journal of Democracy
Originally posted on February 8, 1998.
Last updated on May 3, 2008
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