Precedents, Progress, and Prospects in Political Event Data

Philip A. Schrodt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The past decade has seen a renaissance in the development of political event data sets. This has been due to at least three sets of factors. First, there have been technological changes that have reduced the cost of producing event data, including the availability of information on the Web, the development of specialized systems for automated coding, and the development of machine-assisted systems that reduce the cost of human coding. Second, event data have become much more elaborate than the original state-centric data sets such as WEIS and COPDAB, with a far greater emphasis on substate and nonstate actors, and in some data sets, the incorporation of geospatial information. Finally, there have been major institutional investments, such as support for a number of Uppsala and PRIO data sets, the DARPA ICEWS Asian and global data sets, and various political violence data sets from the US government. This article will first review the major new contributions, with a focus on those represented in this special issue, discuss some of the open problems in the existing data and finally discuss prospects for future development, including the enhanced use of open-source natural language processing tools, standardizing the coding taxonomies, and prospects for near-real-time coding systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-569
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Interactions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations


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