Collaborative Research on Updating the Militarized Interstate Dispute Data

  • Palmer, Glenn Hunter (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This award updates the Correlates of War Project Militarized Interstate Dispute (MID) data set through 2001. Such an effort is critical for international conflict research, but the enterprise of updating this collection is a monumental one that is beyond the scope or resources of any single researcher. Consequently this is a collaborative effort, linking scholars at eleven different universities to complete the task in a systematic and timely fashion. The MID data set has been at the forefront on international conflict research over the past decade or more. This data set is the most frequently used in conflict research and MID data has been employed to explore a staggering breadth of topics in international relations research, including most of those central to contemporary scholarly debates. Furthermore, MID data are the basis for several other data projects in the discipline as well as highly compatible with a range of other data compilations, thereby facilitating the combination of data sets and the exploration of broader sets of theoretical questions.

Updating the Militarized Interstate Dispute data set requires completion of the following major steps: 1) collect and document militarized incidents from a variety of sources. This entails searching global, regional, and national sources for indications of a threat, display, or use of force by one state against another; 2) checking, archiving, and documenting the incidents collected to insure consistency, completeness, and absence of duplication; 3) composing militarized disputes based on the collected incidents and additional research as necessary. Because disputes are conflict episodes, such things as starting and ending dates, secondary participants, stages of escalation, overall fatalities, method of settlement, and general outcome must be determined. A short narrative description of each dispute is also prepared; 4) checking, archiving, and documenting disputes in order to insure such things as conformity with coding rules, compatibility with documentation standards, internal consistency, and absence of duplication; 5) resolving issues that arise concerning coding procedures, documentation requirements, problem cases, and the like; and, 6) preparing a final version (3.0) of the data set for distribution via the world wide web. This requires the resolution of a few problems that have been found in the present version (2.1) before it can be merged with the 1993-2001 data.

This is a major infrastructure project for the Political Science program and enables the updating of a data set that will be used by numerous scholars in international relations and comparative politics.

Effective start/end date9/1/008/31/02


  • National Science Foundation: $62,252.00


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