Wo an der publizistischen Zukunft gewerkelt wird: im Labor der New York Times Research & Development group. Von tagging-Werkzeugen über Leseranalysen bis zu neuen Möglichkeiten, Vergangenes und Verblichenes zurück an die Oberfläche zu holen – die NYT gibt auf ihrer neuen Lab-site tolle Einblicke in ihre Arbeit und einen Vorgeschmack auf das, was uns vielleicht eines Tages erreichen wird. Auf jeden Fall einen Besuch wert: nytlabs.com


UK elections: Matt was right!

How to deal with polls, when respondents don’t tell the truth? Control for contextual factors which might be a cause for systematic effects. Read Matt’s article: Tory factor in 2015?

Open Data for Africa

opendataforafrica.org is a very interesting platform, launched three month ago by the African Development Bank Group. Data covers a wide range of topics in 20 African countries: Algeria, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The data collection isn’t exhaustive but nevertheless, it is a very promising mine for data diggers yet.

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.

Elections in Africa

Polling station in a village in southern Mali, legislative elections 2007 You need electoral results from African countries? Check the African Election Database by Albert C. Nunley, it’s quite complete!
Image: Polling station in a village in southern Mali, legislative elections 2007. Image released under CC-by-sa, 2008, Tim Frey.

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 freedomhouse.org, 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.