States and the International System

See also the resources on my companion page for the ISA Compendium's "Review of Available Data Sets" article, which may have been updated more recently than some of the resources on this page.

The other international data pages on this site may also contain relevant data.

COW Interstate System: The latest official list of all members of the Correlates of War Project's interstate system, including all major powers, the composition of the system, and all dyads in the system.

Gleditsch and Ward Interstate System: An alternative list of states in the system described in a 1999 International Interactions article, based on somewhat different coding rules from the COW system and with somewhat different dates for many states. The authors provide a list of qualifying states, a list of microstates, and documentation on each case that is included.

EUGene Software: Expected Utility Generation and data management program, written by D. Scott Bennett and Allan Stam; this is a Windows-only program that generates data sets for the study of international conflict, with a variety of commonly used variables. More data sets and variables are added frequently, so this list may not be complete -- please check the official EUGene web site for the latest list and any updates.

Russett/Oneal Triangulating Peace data: Replication data for Bruce Russett and John Oneal's 2001 book. These data sets have been widely used by other scholars as a starting point for their own analyses. The above link is to the STATA version of the data; they also provide an ASCII version

ICOW Historical State Names data: From the Issue Correlates of War, or ICOW, Project. This file contains a PDF document with alternative names for nation-states in the COW interstate system, including traditional names, alternate spellings of common names, foreign spellings, and some colonial-era names. This data set is important for scholars attempting to code historical data, as many older source materials use country names that are no longer used or understood, meaning that coders might ignore or mis-code data.

ICOW Colonial History data: From the ICOW Project. This file lists each nation-state's colonial rulers as well as dates and processes of independence. This data file is an Excel spreadsheet and a CSV comma-delimited file, and the enclosed documentation is an RTF word processing document; the folder containing these two files is compressed in ZIP format.

List of Stamp-Issuing Entities: From Linn's Stamp Magazine; technically not an academic data resource, but nonetheless an informative analysis of the numerous entities -- including states, dependencies, quasi-states, and others -- that have issued stamps at various times in the last two centuries. Most entities' entries have useful information about histories, colonial rule, dates of independence, and similar topics. Linn's also provides a country name cross-index to help trace names that have changed over time.

Independent States in the World and Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty: Lists from the U.S. State Department.

UNEP Islands Home Page and Island Directory Home Page: Lists of islands arranged by country and by island name.

State Capabilities

This heading is meant to cover general compilations of data on states' capabilities. Data sets on specific dimensions of capabilities are listed elsewhere on this data site, such as economic data, environmental data, and social and demographic data.

COW National Material Capabilities data: From the Correlates of War project.

EUGene Software: Expected Utility Generation and data management program, written by D. Scott Bennett and Allan Stam; this is a Windows-only program that generates data sets for the study of international conflict, with a variety of commonly used variables. More data sets and variables are added frequently, so this list may not be complete -- please check the official EUGene web site for the latest list and any updates.

Alliances, Treaties, and Organizations

My International Law and International Organizations pages and the economic regionalism section of my international economic data page may also contain relevant data.

Alliance Treaty Obligations and Provisions (ATOP) alliance data: A data set on international alliances that improves on past alliance data by coding the specific obligations and provisions involved in each alliance treaty. The data set was collected by Brett Ashley Leeds and a number of her colleagues, including Andrew G. Long, Michaela Mattes, Sara McLaughlin Mitchell, Jeffrey M. Ritter, and Burcu Savun. The web site now offers downloadable data, the codebook, the individual case codesheets, a search facility, and a list of publications using the data.

COW Formal Alliance data: From the Correlates of War project.

Doug Gibler's 1648-1815 Alliance Data: An extension of the basic COW alliance data set to the centuries before the Congress of Vienna, introduced in Gibler's 1999 International Interactions article "An Extension of the Correlates of War Formal Alliance Data Set." Because the standard COW interstate system list only covers the period since 1816, Gibler has also created a 1648-1815 system list, which will be needed for users of this data set. Note that the download for this data set has disappeared with Gibler's move from Kentucky to Alabama; interested users should contact him.

Doug Gibler's Territorial Settlement Alliance Data: From Gibler's 1996 Conflict Management and Peace Science article "Alliances that Never Balance: The Territorial Settlement Treaty." This is an Excel spreadsheet with a list of all alliances from the larger COW alliance data set that contained territorial settlement provisions, with additional details about each one. Note that the download for this data set has disappeared with Gibler's move from Kentucky to Alabama; interested users should contact him.

ICOW Multilateral Treaties of Pacific Settlement (MTOPS) data: The ICOW Project's data on signature/ratification of multilateral treaties and regional or global organizations that call for the pacific settlement of disputes among their members, and/or for respect of member states' territorial integrity; there are also separate files with the associated codebook, documentation of included cases, and notes about excluded cases in PDF format.

Russett et al. Data Sets: A variety of data sets employed in publications by Bruce Russett and colleagues -- including John Oneal, Michaelene Cox, David Davis, and Harry Bliss -- that examine international conflict in the post-World War II period. These data sets have been widely used by other scholars as a starting point for their own analyses, and include data on both alliance and international organization membership since 1950 that is not currently available elsewhere.

International Geographic Data

My Maps and Interactive Geography Tools, Borders and Territory, Demographic Topics, Environmental Topics, and ICOW Project pages may also contain relevant information.

COW Direct Contiguity and Colonial/Dependency Contiguity data sets: From the Correlates of War project; hosted by Paul Hensel at the University of North Texas. This data set includes contiguity both by a direct land border and by up to 400 miles of sea.

Minimum Distance Data and Distance between Capital Cities Data: From Kristian Gleditsch and Mike Ward, as introduced in their 2001 Journal of Peace Research article. Two different measures of distance between each country in the international system, available in several different formats and for both the Gleditsch-Ward and COW international systems.

Distance between Capital Cities: From economist Jon Haveman.

CEPII Geodesic Distance data: From the Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales.

Shatterbelt data: State-level data on the shatterbelt status of geographic regions, as used in Hensel and Diehl's 1994 Political Geography article -- now extended through 1992 by David Reilly. This data set is compressed in .ZIP format and is provided in .CSV comma-delimited format, along with a brief codebook in PDF format.

ICOW Territorial Claims data: From the Issue Correlates of War, or ICOW, Project.

COW Territorial Change Data Set: Collected by Paul Diehl, Gary Goertz, Jaroslav Tir, and Phil Schafer.

Gallup/Mellinger/Sachs geography data: Available through Harvard's Center for International Development geography data web page in STATA and ASCII formats.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names: A searchable interface allowing you to look up any geographic feature; the database will return details such as the latitude and longitude of the feature.

Social Science Data Collections

These resources offer access to a wide variety of social science data sets, some of which are included in the other data pages on this site but many of which are not (usually because they fall outside the general categories used here).


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Last updated: 3 January 2014
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