Contemporary Conflicts

Armed Conflict Datasets

June 24, 2013

In this blog entry you can find a compilation of some sources pertaining to conflict analysis and the measurement of peace that could be used for quantitative research. Some data in these sources overlaps but all these sources are free and easily accessible.



  • Data on Armed Conflict. The University of Uppsala in Sweden provides one of the most accurate and well-used data-sources on global armed conflicts and its definition of armed conflict is becoming a standard in how conflicts are systematically defined and studied. The dataset of armed conflicts, both internal and external, covers the period from 1946 to the present. It contains data on religious cleavages and civil war, onset and duration of intra-state conflicts, battle deaths data, armed conflict location and event data.


  • The Database on Conflict and Peacebuilding. The School for the Culture of Peace (Escola de Cultura de Pau) based at the Autonomous University of Catalunya in Barcelona produces a searchable database on current conflict and peacebuilding activities. The database offers information on approximately forty active armed conflicts worldwide, nearly seventy socio-political crises and around fifteen peace negotiations, where a specifically gender perspective is included. For each of these conflicts and crises the database provides background information regarding its origins and evolution, the main actors involved, the typology, the intensity of the conflict, the peace initiatives in the conflict.


  • The Correlates of War Project. The goal of the project is the systematic accumulation of scientific knowledge about war and identification of factors that purportedly accounted for war. The site contains accurate dataset on the incidence and extent of inter-state and extra-systemic war in the post-Napoleonic period. Databases include an identification of independent states since 1816, a list of interstate and civil wars since 1816, a list of militarized disputes, national capabilities, all alliances since 1816, territorial relationships and changes over time, and membership in intergovernmental organizations.


  • Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset. This dataset is designed for disaggregated conflict analysis and crisis mapping. It codes the dates and locations of all reported political violence events in over 50 developing countries. 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.


  • The Minorities at Risk Project. The project is a university-based research project that monitors and analyzes the status and conflicts of politically-active communal groups in all countries with a current population of at least 500,000. The project is designed to provide information in a standardized format that aids comparative research and contributes to the understanding of conflicts involving relevant groups. The project 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. The project has a subsidiary - Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) dataset - that  aims to answer fundamental questions focusing on the identification of those factors that motivate some members of ethnic minorities to become radicalized, to form activist organizations, and to move from conventional means of politics and protest into violence and terrorism.


  • Conflict Early Warning Systems. The database includes 20 cases of recently resolved and unresolved inter-group conflicts. The CEWS Database consists of three elements:  narratives and/or chronologies, graphic representation of conflicts, table of conflict phase transitions. Such graphical  integration  of event data, chronologies and narratives into a unified framework of conflict phase sequences allows to  explore alternative conflict trajectories.


  • International Crisis Behavior Project. This site contains information on 455 international crises, 35 protracted conflicts, and 1000 crisis actors for the period 1918-2007. There are four specific objectives of the project: the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge about interstate crises and protracted conflicts; the generation and testing of hypotheses about the effects of crisis-induced stress on coping and choice by decision makers; the discovery of patterns in key crisis dimensions - onset, actor behavior and crisis management, superpower activity, involvement by international organizations, and outcome; and application of the lessons of history to the advancement of international peace and world order. Each case has information on crisis overview, its causes and characteristics, great power involvement, mediation efforts and outcomes.


  • Conflict and Peace Data Bank. This data bank is a longitudinal computer-based library of daily international and domestic events or interactions. The event records in this file describe the actions of approximately 135 countries in the world, both toward one another and within their domestic environments. A typical descriptive event record, such as an international border clash or domestic press censorship, is coded in nine variables. The event record includes date of event, actor initiating the event, target of the event, source from which information was gathered about the event, issue area(s), and textual information about the activity. The event record also contains an evaluation by the coder regarding the type and scale value of the event.



This list is by no means comprehensive and any additional sources are welcome.

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