Practice organizing, analysing, and drawing conclusions with data from real world research projects.
The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) and its databases have provided the basic information for Understanding Conflict Resolution, since the first edition. UCDP is based at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, which also provides basic funding for the program. UCDP has a website with several important features. It is a good idea to check this out.
The UCDP Conflict Encyclopaedia provides highly detailed information about all conflicts that meet the criteria, and it is continuously updated as new data is recorded and made presentable. Information is presented for each conflict, including fatality estimates for three different types of political violence: state-based violence, non-state violence and one-sided violence. Individual events where at least one person was killed is the basis for the recording. Data covers from 1989 but in some cases also since 1975. The summaries give basic insights into the conflicts. The definitions are found under headings on the left side of the page. This is also where one can find the route to the charts, graphs and maps
There is also a particular dataset download center containing 16 UCDP datasets (http://ucdp.uu.se/downloads/). Many of these have become standard references for statistical analysis of matters relating to international peace and security. It is important to read the codebooks, as they explain what the dataset includes. One dataset concerns peace agreements, a source particularly useful for the Understanding Conflict Resolution volume.
The UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP GED;) provides actual geographical locations for the events that constitute the basic units in UCDP data collection.
All datasets depend on their definitions, and for UCDP they are found at www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/definitions/, where all key terms are identified. It is important to know what is in the databases as well as what is not in them!
For researchers, ‘publications’ is important to check out. The UCDP website has a special presentation for this: www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/publications/
For teaching purposes the section on ‘charts and graphs’ is a great resource: www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/charts-graphs-and-maps/
In a multidimensional program like UCDP there is always something to find under ‘news’ (www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/news/), and help can be offered under the heading ‘F.A.Q.’, where common conflicts to UCDP staff are answered (www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/faq/).
If you are interested in the story of UCDP, www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/about-ucdp/ucdp-background/ provides a first glimpse. More of details are found in Peter Wallensteen, Peace Research: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2011), chapter 9, as well as in chapter 2 in Peter Wallensteen, Understanding Conflict Resolution, 5th edition (Sage, 2019).
Other programs for the collection of conflict data
The Correlates of War Project (COW) is mentioned throughout Understanding Conflict Resolution. It has its own website
Similarly to UCDP it presents its datasets, history, people and publications. One of the strengths of COW is its coverage of all wars since 1816. It is unique in this achievement. Originating at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, it is now a cross-university operated data source.
There are several other resources of importance to anyone interested in a systematic understanding of international affairs, peace and war. The Center for Systemic Peace is a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. operating a set of important data sources that are frequently used in the study of armed conflict as well as governance.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Stockholm, Sweden, has a great number of resources relating to arms expenditure, arms production and arms trade.
The Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), Norway, conducts research relevant for armed conflicts and their solutions, often in cooperation with UCDP and the department at Uppsala University in Sweden. Being the home of the Journal of Peace Research it also carried replication data for journal articles.
The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, has now developed a highly relevant tool: the Peace Accords Matrix. It has 34 comprehensive peace agreements (built from UCDP definition) and their implementation during their ten first years of operation. Its Barometer project monitors the implementation of the 2016 peace accords for Colombia.
There is also a UN source of particular use for this book, based in the UN headquarters in New York, the UN Peacemaker. It deals with peace agreements and mediation matters. It is found at http://peacemaker.un.org. Its mediation app is a guide for mediators.
A team based at the University of Edinburgh has also developed a source of great significance dealing with peace agreements. Its definition of peace agreement is wider than those used for instance by UCDP, PAM or the UN Peacemaker, giving a basis for an additional array of researchable issues.
In addition we should mention the initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney, Australia. Its Global Peace Index offers a different approach to global data presentation, using information collected by projects such as those above and many others to be able to register global trends and to rank countries according to their peacefulness. The Peace Index for 2018 is available at: http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2018/06/Global-Peace-Index-2018-2.pdf
There are valuable sources with a more regional focus. One is The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) project in the United States, which provides detailed information on conflicts in Africa and Asia.
The Social Conflict Analysis Database (SCAD) at the University of Texas, Austin, has information on Africa, Central America and the Caribbean on protests, riots and other forms of social conflict.