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International Relations: International Data and Datasets

Covers international law, institutions, theory of international relations, foreign policy, international political economy, environment, human rights, food security, national security.

General Data Sets

  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).   ICPSR provides member colleges and universities with access to an extensive data archive. Please search the archive for a complete listing.
  • CIRI Human Rights DatasetContains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for 15 internationally recognized human rights for 202 countries, annually from 1981-2011. It is designed for use by scholars and students who seek to test theories about the causes and consequences of human rights violations, as well as policy makers and analysts who seek to estimate the human rights effects of a wide variety of institutional changes and public policies including democratization, economic aid, military aid, structural adjustment, and humanitarian intervention.
  • Database of Political Institutions (DPI). Downloadable database from the World Bank covering 180 countries, 1975-2010. 125 variables coding executives and legislatures based on numerous categories: partisan (right, left, center) economic orientation of executives' party and government/opposition parties; nationalist/rural/religious orientation; vote share; seat share; electoral rules; checks and balances; and federalism.
  • Dataverse (University of Maryland). Many conflict and violence scholars publish their replication materials here.
  • Eurostat : When it comes to providing a comprehensive statistical portrait of Europe, Eurostat can rightfully claim that it’s a “one-stop shopping” site. The categories include general and regional statistics; economy and finance; population and social conditions; industry, trade and services; agriculture and fisheries; international trade, and much more.
  • Freedom in the World. Freedom House's popular dataset, which ranks each country in the world annually on how free it is. Countries are ranked on a 1 to 7 scale (1 being most free) on separate measures of political rights and civil liberties, and then given a designation as "free," "partly free," or "not free." Rankings in Excel, 1973 - present.
  • International Studies Association Compendium Project Dataset Page.  Includes essays of special relevance to data issues related to international studies and international relations, as well as actual datasets sorted by topic.  Unfortunately not all the links work.
  • Issue Correlates of War (ICOW) Project. Collects data on contentious issues in world politics. Its 3 primary datasets focus on territorial, river and maritime claims. The site also features 3 supplementary collections on colonial histories; historical state names; and multilateral treaties of “pacific settlement.”
  • Nations, Development, and Democracy, 1800-2005. This data collection consists of a compiled database that assesses 187 (20 historical and 167 contemporary) sovereign countries from 1800-2005." It compiles data from several sources, including Polity III, Polity IV, Freedom House, and World Development Indicators.
  • Quality of Government Data Link.  The aim of the QoG Datasets is to promote cross-national comparative research on quality of government output and its correlates. To accomplish this the QoG Institute provides five freely available datasets, three of which are available in both Time Series and Cross Section. The flagship is our award winning QoG Standard Dataset, it consists of approximately 2500 variables from more than 100 data sources ( from 1946 to present time). To make it easier to navigate the QoG Institute provide QoG Basic Dataset which contains the most qualitative variables from the Standard Dataset, it consists of approximately 300 variables from 75 different data sources. Codebooks are available for every dataset, where user can find a description of all data sources and variables. There are a list of the variables categorized into eighteen thematic topics. Detailed descriptions of all variables are sorted by original data sources. The QoG OECD covers countries who are members of the OECD. The dataset is further distinguished due to its high data coverage in terms geography and time. In addition to these datasets the QoG Institute offers the QoG EU Regional Dataset. The dataset concerns corruption on regional level within the EU and the data is based on a survey of 34,000 respondents. The QoG Expert Survey is a dataset based on our survey of experts on public administration around the world, available in an individual dataset and an aggregated dataset covering 159 countries and is based on a web survey of 1294 experts. TheData Visualization Tool is an addition to the QoG data pages. It is a tool that allows you to display the data from the QoG Basic Dataset on a world map and in scatterplots. The Extras section includes reading recommendations and has a special section for Stata users, which among other things contains details on the QoG-Stata commands.
  • Transparency International. Measures corruption worldwide using tools such as the Corruption Perception Index, the Bribe Payers Index, and the Global Corruption Barometer.
  • The UN Peace Agreements Database includes approximately 800 documents that broadly qualify as peace agreements and also contains their related materials. Users can access the full texts of the agreements in different languages and can use different criteria to search for them.
  • Worldwide Governance Indicators . Aggregate and individual governance indicators for 215 economies over the period 1996-2012, for six dimensions of governance: Voice and Accountability; Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism; Government Effectiveness; Regulatory Quality; Rule of Law; Control of Corruption. Compiled by researchers at the World Bank. Also available through the WB Databank.

International DataSets

  • ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset) (1997–) .  (ACLED) provides the most comprehensive data that’s available on the political violence and protest activities that occur in Africa and 10 countries in South and Southeast Asia. It contains information on the specific dates and locations of political violence and protest, the types of events that occur, the groups involved, the fatalities suffered, and any changes in territorial control that transpire. Additional information is available on battles fought, killings, riots, and the recruitment activities of rebels, governments, militias, armed groups, protesters and civilians.  Event data are derived from a variety of sources, mainly concentrating on reports from war zones, humanitarian agencies, and research publications. All ACLED data can be downloaded on this site by country in excel and GIS formats.
  • Armed Conflict Database.  Analyzes armed conflicts around the world since 1997, including non-state parties and the death toll. Major features: statistics, bar graphs, and pie charts by year and country for fatalities, weapons, refugees, and returnees. Includes summary information on individual non-state groups.  (Click on the Conflict tab to search by area of the world or click on alphabetical within the tab if you prefer.)  Courtesy of International Institute of Strategic Studies.
  • The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST) maintains a searchable database on all suicide attacks from 1982 through December 2015. The database includes information about the location of attacks, the target type, the weapon used, and systematic information on the demographic and general biographical characteristics of suicide attackers.
  • Correlates of War.  Contains 14 datasets that zero in on inter-, intra-, non- and extra-state warfare from 1816-2007; militarized inter-state disputes from 1816-2010; the geographic locations of the latter disputes from 1816-2001; national material capabilities (based on 6 indicators) from 1816-2007; world religion data since 1945; the formal alliances created between states (1816-2012); violent and peaceful territorial changes from 1816-2014; and more.
  • Event Data on Armed Conflict and Security (EDACS). Compiles and analyzes spatially and temporally disaggregated data on the use of violence in the context of civil wars in Sub-Sahara-Africa, starting with the end of the cold war until 2009.
  • Global Terrorism Database (GTD). An open-source database including information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2015 (with annual updates planned for the future). Unlike many other event databases, the GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as international terrorist incidents that have occurred during this time period and now includes more than 150,000 cases.  For each GTD incident, information is available on the date and location of the incident, the weapons used and nature of the target, the number of casualties, and--when identifiable--the group or individual responsible.  Statistical information contained in the Global Terrorism Database is based on reports from a variety of open media sources. Information is not added to the GTD unless and until we have determined the sources are credible. Users should not infer any additional actions or results beyond what is presented in a GTD entry and specifically, users should not infer an individual associated with a particular incident was tried and convicted of terrorism or any other criminal offense. If new documentation about an event becomes available, an entry may be modified, as necessary and appropriate.  The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) makes the GTD available via this online interface in an effort to increase understanding of terrorist violence so that it can be more readily studied and defeated.  The full GTD Database is available for download via the website.
  • Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research Data and Codebooks.  Center for Systemic Peace.
  • KOSVED - Data.  A compilation African conflict datasets by Prof. Dr. Gerald Schneider, Chair of International Politics, Universitat Konstanz.
  • Minorities at Risk Project. The Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project "monitors and analyzes the status and conflicts of politically-active communal groups" and currently maintains data on 283 politically active ethnic groups. The centerpiece of the project is a dataset that tracks groups on political, economic, and cultural dimensions. The project also maintains analytic summaries of group histories, risk assessments, and group chronologies for each group in the dataset." See also the recent article "The Use and Misuse of the 'Minorities at Risk' Project" in the Annual Review of Political Science. Courtesy of the University of Maryland Center for International Development and Conflict Management.
  • Peace Research Institute OSLO (PRIO) Data on Armed Conflict.  Offers 10 datasets on armed conflict; the small arms trade; governance; economic and socio-demographic trends, and more.
  • Political Instability Task Force Worldwide Abstracts Database.  A global dataset that describes, in quantitative terms, the deliberate killing of non-combatant civilians in the context of a wider political conflict. This data collection project, which is still ongoing, is intended to advance efforts to understand and anticipate atrocities, i.e., the deliberate use of lethal violence against non-combatant civilians by actors engaged in a wider political or military conflict. The practical objective of this project is to create a dataset representing a reasonably systematic sample of atrocities occurring worldwide in recent decades in order to: (1) enable the development of statistical models that might be used to identify countries vulnerable to the occurrence of atrocities or, if atrocities are already occurring, to an escalation in their rate or intensity; and (2) create a descriptive record that might be used by researchers with an interest in particular countries or conflicts. The effective date of data in this dataset is 1 January 1995 to the present date. Data are updated monthly. “This data-collection is sponsored by the Political Instability Task Force (PITF). The PITF is funded by the Central Intelligence Agency. The data set is the responsibility of the authors’ alone and does not represent the views of the US Government.”
  • Social Conflict Analysis Database (SCAD).  SCAD is designed to provide users with a comprehensive, methodologically rigorous resource for analyzing social conflict events across Africa, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The database includes all countries with a population of more than 1 million. It compiles events reported by the Associated Press (AP) and Agence France Presse (AFP) from 1990-2015.  SCAD is designed for use by academic researchers, as well as by journalists, non-governmental organizations, and policy makers. Each record in SCAD refers to a unique social conflict event. To define an event, the researchers determined the principal actor(s) involved, the target(s), as well as the issues at stake.  Events can last a single day or several months. A conflict is coded as a single event if the actors, targets, and issues are the same and if there is a distinct, continuous series of actions over time.  Housed by the University of Texas Austin Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.
  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) provides 5 datasets that center on multilateral peace operations; military expenditures; arms transfers and arms embargoes; and national reports on arms exports.
  • University of Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) Datasets Downloads.  Features 14 datasets that focus on armed conflict; conflict termination; non-state conflict; one-sided conflict; battle-related deaths; managing intra-state conflict and/or low-intensity conflict, and more.
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