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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

War and Conflict Research Resources

Below are links to databases and electronic resources that support the study of international conflict and war and related areas of research.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY

Databases that offer multidisciplinary coverage of conflict and war literature from scholarly and non-scholarly sources.

  • Credo Reference -- comprehensive collection of highly-specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks across all subject areas. Good place to go for succinct definitions, explanations, and analysis of concepts, theories, or topics.
  • Google Scholar -- the scholarly part of the Google empire. To set up Google Scholar with access to full-text journals and databases, go here.
  • JSTOR -- a multidisciplinary archive of scholarly journal articles covering most major disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Useful for identifying historical research on a topic.
  • ProQuest Multiple -- comprehensive, multidisciplinary database of newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles updated daily. Content is more focused and manageable in locating relevant research than Google Scholar.

SPECIALIZED RESEARCH RESOURCES

Key Databases

  • Columbia International Affairs Online [CIAO] -- provides the full text of a wide range of scholarship books, working papers from universities and research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, and proceedings from conferences.
  • Homeland Security Digital Library -- provides access to documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management collected from federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies, professional organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and international governing bodies.
  • Military Database -- covers topics across all government and military branches, including international relations, political science, criminology, defense, aeronautics and space flight, communications, civil engineering, and more. Included among its contents are scholarly journals, trade and industry journals, magazines, technical reports, conference proceedings, government publications, and more.
  • Military and Intelligence Database Collection -- provides access to scholarly journals, magazines, and reports covering all aspects of the past and current state of military affairs. The database offers content in key subject areas including governmental policies, the socioeconomic effects of war, the structure of the armed forces, and more.
  • Public Affairs Information Services [PAIS] -- indexes selective subjects and bibliographic access to periodicals, books, hearings, reports, gray literature, government publications, Internet resources, and other publications from 120 countries. Includes historical coverage from 1915 to the present.

Related Research Resources

  • African Peace Agreement Database -- explores the human rights aspects of power-sharing peace agreements in Sub-Saharan Africa. The database provides content analysis access to 82 peace agreements from twenty African countries concerning the nature and pattern of the human rights provisions included in power-sharing deals signed since the end of the cold war in 1989 to 2011.
  • Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project -- ACLED publishes regular analyzes and reports on key countries, dynamics and patterns of political violence and protest in Africa in contemporary and historical perspective. Publications are intended to inform academic, policy and practitioner work in key countries, regions and sectors in conflict analysis, peace-building and armed violence reduction.
  • Directory of Charities and Nonprofit Organizations -- directory of International Peace and Security U.S. charities and other nonprofit organizations maintained by GuideStar, an organization that gathers, organizes, and distributes information on non-profit organizations.
  • Foreign Affairs Online -- this web site directory has been specifically designed to assist students and researchers interested in international relations, international law, and U.S. foreign policy. It has an extensive group of links to general reference, map, and media resources, U.S. and foreign government websites, and websites related to human rights and international organizations. An excellent place to begin your search for scholarly resources on the Internet.
  • Global Conflict Tracker -- an interactive guide to ongoing conflicts around the world of concern to the United States. The map displays nearly thirty conflicts with background information and resources on each conflict.
  • Global Terrorism Database -- an open-source database providing information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2013, with additional annual updates. The database includes systematic data on domestic as well as transnational and international terrorist incidents that have occurred; it now includes more than 125,000 cases. For each 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.
  • HeinOnline Law Journal Library -- full text access to digitized content of more than 2,600 law and law-related periodicals that cover criminal justice, political science, technology, human rights, and more. Coverage for all journals is from first issue and volume through the current issue or volume for most titles.
  • Historical Abstracts -- this database includes key history journals from major countries, as well as relevant selected journals from the social sciences and humanities. Covers world history outside of the United States and Canada. All abstracts are in English.
  • Housmans World Peace Database -- a comprehensive and up-to-date listing of 3000 national and international peace-related organizations, in particular, covering grassroots groups and campaigns which work for peace and reconciliation and against the causes of war. In addition to essential contact information, there is also an indication of the nature of the organization and its areas of concern; many entries also have notes giving additional information. It also includes some major organizations in related fields such as environmental and human rights campaigning.
  • International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) Incidents and Activists Database -- a comprehensive survey of the most all-encompassing non-governmental resources on terrorist incidents in the world. Based on comprehensive and integrated information compiled since 1975, the database records over 33,000 incidents, including successful terror attacks, foiled attacks, and counter-terror operations, along with background and follow-up information.All material is interlinked and cross-referenced in order to provide the user with an interactive system for retrieving data in an intuitive manner.
  • Language of Peace Database -- an innovative tool to search provisions of peace agreements. It provides easy access to compare and collate language on key issues across more than 75,000 provisions of approximately 1,000 peace agreements. The database is accompanied by case studies on each of the twenty-six main issue areas identified in the database. These case studies analyze the practice of peace agreements in relation to each issue area against the background of general international law, with a view to highlighting settlement options for use in ongoing or future peace negotiations, and identifying advances of (or deviations from) universal legal standards.
  • National Defense University, Digital Collections–an online gateway to a diverse and growing variety of electronic collections and items produced or acquired by the NDU Library in support of the university's teaching, research, repository and outreach missions. The resources include items in print (including .doc, pdf, and html), image, audio and video formats.
  • Security Issues Online -- a multimedia collection on key world affairs issues including coverage of topics related to borders and migrations, human rights violations, security, revolution and protest, and the environment. The database contains 575,000 pages including rare, previously-unpublished archival material, 900 hours of video, 3,000 photographs.
  • SIPRI Yearbook -- The yearbook provides an overview of developments in international security, weapons and technology, military expenditure, the arms trade and arms production, and armed conflicts, along with efforts to control conventional, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.
  • Social Conflict Analysis Database – facilitates analysis of conflict patterns and possible intervention strategies in Africa and Latin America. The newly updated and extended version of SCAD covers all of Africa and now also Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The system includes protests, riots, strikes, inter-communal conflict, government violence against civilians, and other forms of social conflict not systematically tracked in other conflict datasets. SCAD currently includes information on nearly 20,000 social conflict events from 1990 to 2015. Each event record contains information on the location, timing, and magnitude of social conflict events, as well as the actors, targets, issues of contention, and government response.
  • Transitional Justice Peace Agreement Database -- accesses over 640 peace agreements in over 85 jurisdictions. It provides information on some of the key issues addressed by the agreements [e.g., women] and a search engine for locating which agreements have dealt with these issues. The collection includes: proposed agreements not accepted by all relevant parties (but setting a framework); agreements between some but not all parties to conflicts; agreements essentially imposed after a military victory; joint declarations largely rhetorical in nature; agreed accounts of meetings between parties even where these do not create substantive obligations. In cases where a series of partial agreements were later incorporated into a single framework agreement, all of the constituent agreements are listed separately. Also included are specific pieces of legislation, constitutions, interim constitutions, constitutional amendments, or UN Security Council resolutions that were the outcomes of peace negotiations.
  • War and Terrorism Collection -- a database that provides access to academic journals and magazines of interest to analysts, risk management professionals, and students of military science, history, and social science. The database offers balanced coverage of both historic and contemporary topics in the fields of war and terrorism.

GROUP PERSPECTIVE

Databases that offer the opportunity to understand and contemplate the implications of conflict and war through the eyes of people who may be most impacted.

  • Child Development and Adolescent Studies -- provides citations to current and historical social and behavioral sciences literature related to growth and development of children through the age of 21, including from scholarly journals, technical reports, books, book chapters, and theses and dissertations. Key database for locating studies about the effect of war on children, children's rights, and issues such the use of child soldiers.
  • Family and Society Studies Worldwide -- covers research, policy, and practice literature in family science, human development, child and family welfare, civil and legal rights, and social welfare from a wide range of publications in the social sciences. Includes research about the relationship and impact of conflict on families.
  • Sociological Abstracts -- a resource for accessing research in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. The database draws information from an international selection of over 2,600 journals, conference papers, books, and dissertations.
  • Women’s Studies International – an interdisciplinary database that covers issues in women's studies including feminist theory and history and the areas of sociology, history, political science and economy, public policy, international relations, arts and humanities, business and education. Key database for locating studies about the effect of war on women and women's role in conflict and peace building.

DATA AND STATISTICS

War and Conflict

  • Armed Conflict Location and Events Dataset -- ACLED is a comprehensive open access collection of political violence data for developing states, primarily in Africa and Asia. 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 primarily from reports from war zones, humanitarian agencies, and research publications.
  • Correlates of War Project – an on-going project that collects data on the systematic accumulation of scientific knowledge about war. The site includes datasets covering country codes; inter-state, intra-state, non-state, and extra-state war; militarized interstate disputes; national material capabilities; alliances; contiguity; territorial change; IGOs; and bilateral trade. Data is updated as new information becomes available.
  • Countries at Risk of Electoral Violence – gathered by the Project on Explaining and Mitigating Electoral Violence, this site provides detailed dyadic information on electoral violence in 101 countries between 1995 and 2013 covering national-level legislative and executive contests only. Electoral violence is measured in a ten-month window around each election. Site also includes working papers that develop and test a series of theoretical propositions about the causes of electoral violence and assess the impact of practical interventions designed to mitigate it.
  • Coup D'état Project – University of Illinois project that compiles, for 165 countries in the post WWII era, a comprehensive listing, documentation, and categorization of coups for use by researchers. The project is ongoing, but variables include date, COW country code, type of coup, and multiple indicators categorizing the actors involved, means used, and outcome of the coup attempts.
  • Coups in the World -- provides a list of coups by country and by country and year. Coups is defined as "illegal and overt attempts by the military or other elites within the state apparatus to unseat the sitting executive," and successes as episodes in which the perpetrators control power for at least seven days. Produced at the University of Central Florida, all data on the site are updated continuously.
  • Data on Armed Conflict and Security Project – in addition to relevant publications, this site offers access to three data sources: the Event Data on Armed Conflict and Security Project that 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; the Consolidated List of Wars which aims at simplifying comparisons of data quality and data collection in the field of quantitative research on the causes and dynamics of war; and, the Private Security Database that collects data on the use of Private Military and Security Companies by governments and international organizations 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 during 1990–2007.
  • Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research Datasets – prepared by researchers associated with the Center for Systemic Peace, the site provides various cross-national, time-series conflict datasets, including data on forcibly displaced populations, major episodes of political violence, ethnic and revolutionary war, genocide, high casualty terrorist bombings, failed/fragile states, and successful, attempted, plotted, and alleged coup events. Dates of coverage vary by dataset but mostly cover the 1950s to the present.
  • IISS Armed Conflict Database – Provides access to figures and summary narratives on both international and internal armed conflicts in the world, whether dormant or active, since about 1960. Focus is on wars, terrorism, refugees and returnees, Internally Displaced Persons, fatalities, specific weapons used and their flows, and economic costs. Non-state parties are also covered.
  • Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project -- a 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 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.
  • Political Instability Task Force Worldwide Atrocities Dataset -- a 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 effective date of data in this dataset is 1 January 1995 to the present date. Data are updated monthly.
  • Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict -- measures reports of the conflict-related sexual violence committed by armed actors during the years 1989-2019. Site includes reports of conflict-related sexual violence committed by government/state military, pro-government militias, and rebel/insurgent forces. Covers all state-based conflicts active in the years 1989-2019, as defined by the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Database. Data were collected for all years of active conflict [defined by 25 battle deaths or more per year] and for five years post-conflict. Includes information about the prevalence, perpetrators, victims, forms, timing, and locations of the reported sexual violence by each armed actor in each conflict-year.
  • Small Arms Survey -- generates evidence-based, impartial, and policy-relevant knowledge and analysis on small arms and armed violence issues for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and civil society. Site includes five major global databases: Global Violent Deaths, Global Firearms Holdings, Peace Operations Data Set, Small Arms Trade Transparency Barometer, and Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites.
  • Social Conflict Analysis Database -- SCAD includes protests, riots, strikes, inter-communal conflict, government violence against civilians, and other forms of social conflict not systematically tracked in other conflict datasets. It currently includes information on thousands of events from 1990 to 2017, covering Africa, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
  • Terrorism and Preparedness Data Resource Center -- now part of the ICPSR database, TPDRC archives and distributes data collected by government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and researchers about the nature of intra-domestic and international terrorism incidents, organizations, perpetrators, and victims; governmental and nongovernmental responses to terror, including primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions; and citizen's attitudes towards terrorism, terror incidents, and the response to terror.
  • Uppsala Conflict Data Program/ Peace Research Institute Oslo Armed Conflict Datasets – UCDP/PRIO provides a variety of datasets on organized violence in multiple data formats, including individual events of organized violence, geo-referenced events data, and conflict-year datasets. An excellent starting point for obtaining statistics.
  • xSub: Cross-National Data on Subnational Violence -- a repository of micro-level, subnational event data on armed conflict and contention around the world. Our goal is to preserve and consolidate multiple open-source data collections in one comprehensive electronic archive, creating a “database of databases” for purposes of research, education, policy-making and evaluation. The archive currently includes data on armed conflict and contention from 156 countries (1969-2017), from 21 data sources, including both large data collections and individual scholars. The data are available as individual events, and as analysis-ready spatial panel datasets.

Peace and Security

  • Diplometrics Datasets -- project at the University of Denver that provides databases on international organizations, diplomatic exchange (embassies), and treaties monitored by the United Nations, producing data sets on non-state actors including international non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations and transnational organized crime. There are tools to help visualize and structure the data. Generally covers 1945 to present.
  • International Crisis Behavior Dataset -- located at Duke University, this project investigates the sources, processes, and outcomes of all military-security crises since the end of World War I. There is a system-level dataset covering the crises and another covering the actors. Includes scores of variables covering onset; actor attributes, behavior, and crisis management; superpower activity; involvement by international organizations; mediation and outcome; and more. Also includes text summaries of each crisis.
  • International Peace Institute Peacekeeping Database -- drawing from UN archival records, the IPI at George Washington University presents data on peacekeeping missions of total uniformed personnel contributions by country, month, type [troop, police, or expert/observer], and by mission starting in 1990 forward. Also included are data on gender and assessed contributions.
  • PA-X Peace Agreement Database -- a database and repository of peace agreements from 1990 to the present. The site provides a comprehensive dataset of peace agreements from 1990 to end of 2018. PA-X contains 1789 agreements in over 140 peace processes with coding of provisions for 230 substantive categories such as power-sharing, women, and transitional justice. It enables search permutations which can disaggregate the data by country, entity, region, conflict type, and stage of agreement; and allows examination of different combinations of issues addressed.
  • Peace Accords Matrix -- database of qualitative and quantitative longitudinal data on the implementation of 34 Comprehensive Peace Agreements (CPAs) negotiated in civil wars between 1989 and 2012. The population of agreements is in two dimensions: the major parties to the conflict were involved in the negotiations that led to the written agreement; and the substantive issues underlying the conflict were included in the negotiations. The implementation history of each provision in an accord is tracked and scored, yielding a ten year implementation score for each accord. Produced at the University of Notre Dame, the database can be searched by keyword, accord, or provision type.
  • Peace Research Institute Oslo -- provides datasets on governance, armed conflict, geographical and resources, mapping arms data, and economic and socio-demographic data derived from various projects and program sponsored by the institute. The site also includes a searchable  bibliography of more than 1250 references to books, book chapters, articles and reports dealing with various conflict-related issues.
  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – SIPRI produces research and data on security and conflict. SIPRI has databases on military expenditures, arms transfers, arms embargoes, and peacekeeping operations. Also included is the SIPRI Yearbook that provides an overview of developments in international security, weapons and technology, military expenditure, the arms trade and arms production, and armed conflicts, along with efforts to control conventional, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.