This book provides the most extensive comparative survey of the state and conditions of democracy ever made. It focuses on 172 contemporary states, with historical data on the measures of democracy and on explanatory variables extending back to the 1850s. It presents an exploration of democratization, its successes and failures, making predictions on the prospects for democracy for single countries and for seven regions of the world. As well as presenting empirical analyses of democratization on the basis of Vanhanens's resource distribution theory of democratization and making predictions on the prospects, the book includes contributions from five commentators, Mitchell A. Seligson on Latin America, Samuel Decalo and John W. Forje on Africa, John Henderson on Oceania and Ilter Turan on why some of the countires that pass Vanhanen's democratic threshold cannot in fact be seen as democracies. The volume also includes an introductory chapter which examines and compares other theoretical interpretations of democratization.