Data themes: Conflict and political risk

Resources for researching conflict and risk may include data from subscription databases, publicly available data portals or archived academic projects. Some suggestions are:

ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset) (1997 – )
A comprehensive public collection of political violence data for developing states. These data contain information on the specific dates and locations of political violence, the types of event, the groups involved, fatalities and changes in territorial control. Information is recorded on the battles, killings, riots, and 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.

Center for Security Studies: Datasets
CSS ETH presents a number of prominent sites that provide statistical information on a variety of economic, development and security-related topics.

Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST): Suicide Attack Database
Searchable database on all suicide attacks from 1974 through June 2016. 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.

Children and Armed Conflict Unit
The site provides country specific information on conflict areas, both past and present, and on countries with related issues affecting children. It includes background on the conflict, the most recent conflict developments, NGO and IGO links, field activity and comment, reports and analysis from organisations and journalists. In addition it contains relevant international and national agreements and legislation.

Data of Armed Conflict and Security (DACS)

  • The Event Data on Armed Conflict and Security (EDACS) project 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.
  • Consolidated List Of Wars (CoLoW) aims at simplifying comparisons of data quality and data collection in the field of quantitative research on the causes and dynamics of war. Through a discussion of problematic cases and data gathering strategies we hope to increase transparency regarding the development and use of data sets in the field and make it easier for researchers and practitioners alike to choose the right data for their purposes.
  • Private Security Database (PSD) collects data on the use of Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) by public actors (governments and international organisations) in areas of limited statehood, and asks in general who consumed what kind of private security in failing states (where, for how long). The data are focused on a specific set of countries that experienced state failure or even collapse in at least one year in the period 1990–2007.

Global Conflict Risk Index (GCRI) Dataset
The data used in the GCRI are open-source and widely accepted by the scientific community; they are provided by institutions such as the World Bank, the UN, and a variety of academic institutions such as universities as well as research projects.

Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research (INSCR)
The data resources were prepared by researchers associated with the Center for Systemic Peace and are generated and/or compiled using open source information. These resources are made available as a service to the research community. All CSP/INSCR data resources have been cross-checked with other data resources to ensure, as far as possible, that the information recorded is accurate, reliable, and comprehensive.

ITERATE International Terrorism Database
Provides data on terrorists and events of terrorism around the world from 1968 to the present. Lists of the variables included in all these files are provided in the ITERATE Codebook 2009.

Political Risk Services (PRS)

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
SIPRI provides data and analysis on conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament, based on open sources.

Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP)
A provider of data on organized violence and the oldest ongoing data collection project for civil war. It produces high-quality data, which are systematically collected, have global coverage, are comparable across cases and countries, and have long time series which are updated annually. UCDP also operates and continuously updates its online database (UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia) on armed conflicts and organised violence, in which information on several aspects of armed conflict such as conflict dynamics and conflict resolution is available. This interactive database offers a web-based system for visualizing, handling and downloading data, including ready-made datasets on organized violence and peacemaking.

You can find further resources on this theme by using on Databases A-Z or SOLO and subject guides.

Recommendations for additions to these lists are always welcome. Please email the Bodleian Data Librarian with suggestions.