Data on armed conflicts in the world

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program records all armed conflicts – following their definitions – around the world. Data from the Uppsala Conflict Database covers the whole world since 1989 and includes today 122 armed conflicts.


Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI)

Other interesting data – conceptually inspired by the transformation theory – provides us the Bertelsmann Foundation with their BTI. Check this discussion on the CRRC-blog and the reference below.


  • BTI – Detailled data 2008. now available here.
  • Schmidt, Siegmar, 2006. “Wie viel Demokratie gibt es in Afrika?” Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, APuZ 32-33:2006. This article is online available here.

Data on democratization

Often, students ask me where to find indicators measuring democracy. Hum. Well known and commonly used is the data provided by, an US-based NGO. Freedomhouse data are handy, but their operationalization and measuring is sometimes quite rough. An other well known dataset, Tatu Vanhanen’s Polyarchy dataset including Vanhanen’s index of democracy, is much more sophisticated but also more complex. Check the CSCW website to get the original data. Updates and additional data by Lars Wilhelmsen can also be found there.

There are many other datasets available, unfortunately there are only few covering a broader range of countries over a longer timespan. E. g. Schmidt (1997, 264-291; 2000, 539-550) gives a good overview of datasets and indicators on democratization.


  • Schmidt, Manfred G., 1997. Demokratietheorien, 2. Auflage, Opladen: Leske & Budrich
  • Schmidt, Manfred G., 2000 (unveränderter Nachdruck 2006). Demokratietheorien, 3. Auflage, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.