Volume VL – Number 1

Jacob Lee

Abstract: The American belief that democracies provide the best protection of human rights, as they are designed to be more responsive to citizens’ demands than authoritarian regimes, is certainly a logical argument.  However, such beliefs are based more in normative American political values than empirical proof, and it is necessary to provide empirical proof to support such common assumptions. Examining the level of democracy, level of freedom, and level of education in 146 countries in 2006, this article demonstrates the roles these variables play in human rights protection.  Using simple regression analysis, it demonstrates an almost perfect relationship between regime type and subsequent freedom realized. Although this paper demonstrates that education levels also play an important role in establishing freedom, it has a significantly lower impact than regime type. Simply put; both regime type and, to a lesser degree, education are statistically significant in explaining the degree of freedom enjoyed in a country.

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