Comparative research on international human rights is an exceedingly difficult enterprise; it is also politically dangerous because human rights is a political symbol of "high positive affect," to use Harold Lasswell's terminology. We have undertaken a survey of the attempts of other scholars to engage in systematic comparative research on various aspects of human rights with the purpose of pinpointing the problems generally encountered in such a collective enterprise. This survey will focus on the research efforts of Amnesty International, Freedom House (and also the Latin American surveys of Russell Fitzgibbon and Kenneth Johnson), the U.S. State Department's human rights country status reports, and the Physical Quality of Life Index, developed by the Overseas Development Council (and as modified by a recent special Library of Congress research staff reanalysis); it will also supplement the criticisms made by John McCamant in the preceding chapter. While we may not be able to offer definitive solutions to any of the problems that we identify and explain 148below, we hope to sensitize would-be researchers to their existence.