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Political scientist brings sharp focus to human rights

David Cingranelli is among a small but growing number of scholars who use quantitative measures to study human rights. A political scientist, Cingranelli is a believer in the value of measurement.


“Anything we really care about changing or monitoring, we have to measure,” he said. “If we’re not going to measure it, we don’t really care about it. That’s my whole philosophy in social science. Simply because something’s difficult to measure isn’t enough reason, for me, not to measure it.”

The Cingranelli and Richards (CIRI) Human Rights Data Project is proof of Cingranelli’s sincerity on that point. That project, funded by the National Science Foundation and led by Cingranelli and David L. Richards at the University of Memphis, issues scores each year for each country in the world for 13 different human rights (including torture, workers' rights, women’s rights and freedom of religion). The scores are used by the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, European governments and U.S. agencies to evaluate their programs and help make decisions about distributions of funds.

Cingranelli joined Binghamton’s faculty in 1976 and also works with students as director of the McNair Scholars Program, which helps prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue doctoral studies.

Learn more about the Cingranelli and Richards Human Rights Data Project.


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Last Updated: 5/7/09