Project: Research project

Project Details


This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

The Correlates of War Project's Militarized Dispute Data (MID) set is the most prominent and heavily used collection in the study of international conflict. The most recent version (MID3) was released in 2004 and covered the years 1993-2001. The process of updating that data set -which took almost four years and involved eleven research centers- was extremely labor-intensive and expensive. To update the MID data on a relatively continuing basis requires a smoother, smaller, more efficient, and less expensive project. Therefore, this study will incorporate an iterated process utilizing information drawn from the old MID3 project to develop a computer program that is able to identify news stories about militarized disputes. Using this process, the researchers will gather news reports to update the MID data sets for the period 2002-2010. The procedures established by this project will also allow for virtually continuous updating of the MID data thereafter. Upon completion of the project the MID data will be available for the period 1816-2010.

Because the MID data are so widely used by the scholarly community, this update will benefit researchers who are addressing a wide range of research questions, including but not limited to the democratic peace, power cycles, arms races, alliances, conflict management, diversionary uses of force, political geography and territorial disputes, crisis escalation, regional security, trade and interdependence, international norms, collective security, military strategy, Palestinian attitudes, intervention, and early warning systems. As one specific example of what could be done with the updated data that could not be done with the existing set, many hypotheses derived from Huntington?s 'clash of civilizations' argument focus on the period since 1991; currently we are not able to reach strong conclusions about the empirical validity of those hypotheses.

Another value of the MID data set pertains to the derivative data sets for which it provides the basis. For example, the dyadic version of the MID set permits researchers to consider the interactions of particular pairs of countries. Other examples include the Behavioral Correlates of War (BCOW) data set and the Issue Correlates of War (ICOW) Project, which is collecting systematic data on contentious issues in world politics. Overall, a wide array of researchers not only depends on the MID data set for direct use in their own research, but scholars also make use of the data to construct other valuable data sets.

Effective start/end date9/1/098/31/12


  • National Science Foundation: $316,140.00


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