Uppsala Conflict Data Program

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"UCDP" redirects here. For the political party, see United Christian Democratic Party.
The UCDP is located at Uppsala University's Department of Peace and Conflict Research (at left) in Gamla Torget.

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) is a data collection project on organized violence housed at Uppsala University in Sweden. The program aims to gather information on armed conflict and make it publicly available online and in its annual report, “States in Armed Conflict.” The UCDP collects both quantitative and qualitative data on organized violence (e.g. fatality statistics, georeferenced event data, armed actor and conflict descriptions) that is used by social science researchers, journalists and policymakers.

Background[edit]

The UCDP began recording information on ongoing violent conflicts in the 1970s.[1] It became clear that more systematic and global data on armed conflicts was necessary for conducting research in the expanding academic discipline of peace and conflict studies.

Initially the program collected data only on so-called “armed conflict”, defined as fighting exceeding 25 battle-related deaths between two actors of which at least one had to be a state.[2] In later years the data gathering grew, and the program also began collecting data on “non-state conflicts” (where neither party was a state) and “one-sided violence” (where an organized group attacked unarmed civilians).

The UCDP’s data is published annually in such renowned publications as the SIPRI Yearbook[3] Journal of Peace Research. The UCDP also makes its data publicly available through its website and in its annual publication, States in Armed Conflict.

Organization[edit]

The UCDP is located at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, at Uppsala University in Sweden. The program is led by the Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, Peter Wallensteen, and employs approximately 15 research assistants and researchers. A number of scholars and Ph.D. candidates are also attached to the program and tasked with carrying out research for the collection of conflict data. In addition to collecting data the program disseminates knowledge on trends and dynamics of armed conflict to the public via lectures at academic and government forums.

Cooperation[edit]

The UCDP works closely with the Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO) and the Human Security Report Project, based within the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The UCDP collaborates with PRIO to create its datasets and provides the Human Security Centre with data for its annual publication, the Human Security Report.[4] The UCDP’s data is published annually in collaboration with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and appears in the SIPRI Yearbook.[5]

Research[edit]

Hundreds of scholars have used the UCDP’s data for research.[6] The UCDP couples data collection with research on conflict resolution and the dynamics of conflicts.[1] Much of the research done by UCDP staff is published in the UCDP’s States in Armed Conflict annual report, the annual SIPRI Yearbook, and the Journal of Peace Research.[7]

UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Database[edit]

The Armed Conflict Dataset is a joint project between the UCDP and PRIO that records incompatibilities from 1946-2012 that result in a minimum of 25 battle-related deaths and at least one actor in the conflict is the government of a state. Data is collected by keying specific search words in the Factiva Database, an online resource containing over 10,000 different newspapers, newswires, and other sources, as well as published books, case studies, and journals (Africa Research Bulletin, Africa Confidential, NGO Publications). There have been four versions of the dataset. Version 4-2013 is the most recent.

Every incompatibility is classified as a dyad in the dataset and assigned an ID number. A dyad consists of two conflicting primary parties. Dyads can last multiple years and are coded for intensity level (minor less than 1,000 deaths, major more than 1,000 deaths), region (Americas, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe), incompatibility (government, territory, government and territory), and type (extrasystemic, interstate, internal, internationalized internal). The start date, end date, year, and location of conflict are also provided as well as the precision of the start and end date.

The conflict between the United States and Al Qaeda is an example of a dyad from the dataset. The United States is the government or Side A, while Al Qaeda is the organized political group or Side B. The ID number in the dataset is 224, the conflict was located in Afghanistan in the Middle East region, and is coded with an intensity level of a 2 (major conflict resulting in over 1,000 deaths) from 2001-2010.

The data has been used in Blood and Soil? Resource Scarcity and Internal Armed Conflict Revisited" by Ole Magnus Thiesen, "Implications of Climate Change on Armed Conflict" by Halvard Buhaug, and "Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict" by Megan Bastick, Karin Grimm, and Rahel Kunz.

Quantitative Data from the Dataset[edit]

Mean intensity of armed conflicts between 1946-2012: 1.272163966. Average number of conflict per year between 1946-2012: 36.48 armed conflicts. Year with the most armed conflicts: 1991 and 1992. Year with the least amount of armed conflicts: 1955. Region with the most armed conflicts: Asia. Most common type of armed conflict: Internal.

Publications[edit]

UCDP data has been published in the SIPRI Yearbook since 1988. Since 1993 a list of all armed conflicts also appears in the acclaimed Journal of Peace Research. Data on non-state conflicts appears in the Human Security Report from 2004. The UCDP also releases (annually) its own report, the States in Armed Conflict publication. UCDP data is also frequently used by journalists, government agencies and other organizations to produce overviews of peace and conflict in the world. One prominent index that uses UCDP data is the Global Peace Index.[8]

UCDP Battle-Related Deaths Dataset[edit]

A battle related death is one that is caused by combat between conflicting parties over a contested incompatibility. These deaths can be caused by traditional battlefield fighting, guerrilla activities, urban warfare, and any kind of bombardment of military units, cities, and villages. Guerrilla activities include hit and run attacks and ambushes, and examples of urban warfare include bombs, explosions, and assassinations. Targets of attacks are generally military, state institutions, and state representatives. However, civilians are collateral damage, and both military and civilian deaths are accounted for in the dataset.

UCDP has three ways of estimating battle-related deaths: best estimate, low estimate, and high estimate. The best estimate is the aggregate of the most reliable numbers for all battle-related incidents during a year. The low estimate is the aggregate of low estimates for all battle-related incidents during a year, and the high estimate is the aggregate of high estimates for all battle-related incidents during a year. These estimates are found in both conflict-year based datasets and dyad-year based datasets. The averages of deaths in the most recent of each kind of dataset are:

Conflict-year dataset bdBest bdLow bdHigh
Average 918 868 1,287
Dyad-year dataset bdBest bdLow bdHigh
Average 705 666 979

UCDP gathers and updates data on a yearly basis. They have datasets available from 1989 to 2012. Every event lists the date of the event, reporting source, primary source, actors involved, place of event, what happened, and the estimates of fatalities. The staff reads all the reports, and the information is entered manually. Furthermore, the aggregate results are compared to figures in official documents, special reports, and news media.

UCDP uses both printed and electronic public sources for gathering information. The main source is the Factiva Database that is composed of over 10,000 newspapers, newswires, and other sources from around the globe. UCDP uses at least one major newswire (Reuters, Xinhua, EFE) and BBC monitoring. Additional sources include news agencies, newly published books, case studies, journals like Africa Research Bulletin, research reports, documents of international and multinational organizations, NGO publications such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, and documents of fighting parties. Sources are judged according to the context in which they are published, and reports are traced back to the primary source to establish reliability.

The UCDP’s Definitions of Organized Violence[edit]

The program divides armed conflict into three categories: “state-based conflict”, “non-state conflict” and “one-sided violence”.

State-based conflict refers to what most people intuitively perceive as “war”; fighting either between two states, or between a state and a rebel group that challenges it. The UCDP defines an armed state-based conflict as: “An armed conflict is a contested incompatibility that concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of a state, results in at least 25 battle-related deaths in one calendar year”.[9] The program’s definition differs somewhat from other data collection programs, such as the Correlates of War Project, which only counts conflicts where at least 1,000 deaths have been recorded during one calendar year. In UCDP data such an armed conflict is labelled as having the intensity level of “war”, whilst armed conflicts that reap between 25 and 999 battle-related deaths are seen as having the intensity of a “minor” armed conflict.[10]

Non-state conflicts are those conflicts in which none of the warring parties is a state. Examples of non-state conflicts include, the Fatah-Hamas conflict of 2006 and 2007, inter-ethnic group conflicts such as the Lou NuerMurle conflict of 2009-2012, and inter-cartel violence in the Mexican Drug War.

One-sided violence is defined as: “The use of armed force by the government of a state or by a formally organized group against civilians which results in at least 25 deaths in a year”.[11] Examples include the Governments of Sudan, Myanmar, and Syria against civilians as well as non-state organizations such as Los Zetas, Al Qaeda, and the Lord's Resistance Army against civilians.

List of state-based conflicts in 2011[edit]

In 2011 the UCDP reported 37 active state-based armed conflicts:

Europe • Russia (territory: Caucasus Emirate)

Middle East • Iran (government) • Iraq (government) • Israel (territory: Palestine) • Syria (government) • Turkey (territory: Kurdistan) • Yemen (government)

Asia • Afghanistan (government) • Cambodia, Thailand (territory: common border) • India (territory: Kashmir) • India (government) • Myanmar (territory: Karen) • Myanmar (territory: Kachin) • Myanmar (territory: Shan) • Pakistan (territory: Baluchistan) • Pakistan (government) • Philippines (territory: Mindanao) • Philippines (government) • Tajikistan (government) • Thailand (territory: Patani)

Africa • Algeria (government) • Central African Republic (government) • Ethiopia (territory: Ogaden) • Ethiopia (territory: Oromiya) • Ivory Coast (government) • Libya (government) • Mauritania (government) • Nigeria (government) • Rwanda (government) • Senegal (territory: Casamance) • Somalia (government) • Southern Sudan (government) • Sudan (government) • Sudan (territory: Abyei) • Uganda (government)

Americas • Colombia (government) • USA (government)

Out of these 37 armed conflicts a total of six (Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Sudan) reached the intensity level of “War”, meaning that more than 1,000 battle-related deaths were recorded in 2011. In 2012 six conflicts also reached the intensity level of “War.”

State-Based Armed Conflicts Reaching the intensity of "War" in 2011 or 2012
Start of conflict War/conflict Location Fatalities in 2010 Fatalities in 2011 Fatalities in 2012
2001 War in Afghanistan  Afghanistan 6,377[12] 7,418[13] 7,396[14]
1991 Somali Civil War  Somalia 2,158[15] 1,917[16] 2,620[17]
2004 War in North-West Pakistan  Pakistan 4,787[18] 2,641[19] 2,705[20]
2004 Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen  Yemen and  Saudi Arabia 175[21] 1,140[21] 2,321 [21]
2011 Libyan civil war  Libya 0 1,928[22] -
2011 Sudananese Civil War  Sudan 931[23] 1,398[24] 1,119 [25]
2011 Syrian Civil War  Syria - 842[26] 15,055[27]
Major Non-State armed conflicts in 2010 or 2011 or 2012[28]
Warring Parties Location Fatalities in 2010 Fatalities in 2011 Fatalities in 2012
Juarez Cartel vs. Sinaloa Cartel[29]  Mexico 2,515 1,668 534
Los Zetas vs. Sinaloa Cartel[30]  Mexico 29 85 329
Gulf Cartel vs. Los Zetas[31]  Mexico 412 345 543
Lou Nuer Tribe vs. Murle Tribe[32]  Sudan - 1,415 424
Misseria vs. Rizeigat Baggara[33]  Sudan 342 - 58
Christians vs. Muslims[34]  Nigeria - 830 123
Anagutas, Afisare, and Birom vs. Fulani, Hausa[35]  Nigeria 664 - -
Major One-Sided armed conflicts in 2010 or 2011[36]
Violence Perpetrator Location Fatalities in 2010 Fatalities in 2011 Fatalities in 2012
Islamic State of Iraq  Iraq 707 322 769
Taleban Movement of Pakistan  Pakistan 549 198 166
Lord’s Resistance Army  Uganda 430 145 66
Los Zetas  Mexico 86 268
Communist Party of India (Maoist)  India 337 184 110
Government of Ivory Coast  Ivory Coast - 277 -
Government of Syria  Syria - 2,924
  • Note: Fatality figures may be substantially lower than other stated estimates as UCDP data does not include fatalities from disease and/or war-time epidemics, or combine casualty figures between different types of armed conflicts. Additionally the figures in the tables represent the UCDP's "best estimate" figures and not its "high estimate" figures.[37]

Criticism[edit]

Edward Herman, Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and his colleague David Peterson, co-authors of The Politics of Genocide have accused the UCDP of using “politicized[...]methodologies” in an effort to “minimize U.S.- and Western-led warmaking and killing.” Exemplifying these assertions they compare the classification[by whom?] of US involvement in Guatemala and the perception of Soviet involvement in Afghanistan by the program.[38]

UCDP on the Internet[edit]

The UCDP’s homepage is located at http://www.ucdp.uu.se. The UCDP also has an on-line database of organised violence, accessible at http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/search.php. The database provides free information on state-based and non-state conflicts, as well as one-sided violence. It also includes descriptive information on causes and histories of conflicts and one-sided violence and brief descriptions of rebel groups, governments and related items.

UCDP for iPhone and Android[edit]

As of July 2010 the UCDP Conflict Database is available as an iPhone application[39] and an Android application.[40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Box 256. "UCDP Program Overview, accessed 27 January 2013". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  2. ^ Box 256. "UCDP definition of armed conflict". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  3. ^ "and the". Sipri.org. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  4. ^ "Overview - Human Security Report 2012". Hsrgroup.org. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  5. ^ "SIPRI Yearbook 2012 — www.sipri.org". Sipri.org. 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  6. ^ Box 256. "Publications using UCDP data - Uppsala universitet". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  7. ^ Box 256. "Publications - Uppsala universitet". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ Box 256. "UCDP definition of armed conflict". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  10. ^ Box 256. "Definition of intensity levels". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  11. ^ Box 256. "UCDP definition of one-sided violence". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  12. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Afghanistan and Government of United States vs. Taleban, Hizb-i Islami-yi Afghanistan and al-Qaida, "best estimate" for 2010". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  13. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Afghanistan and Government of United States vs. Taleban, Hizb-i Islami-yi Afghanistan and al-Qaida, "best estimate" for 2011". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  14. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Afghanistan and Government of United States vs. Taleban, "best estimate" for 2012". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  15. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Somalia vs. Al-Shabaab, "best estimate" for 2010". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  16. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Somalia vs. Al-Shabaab, "best estimate" for 2011". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  17. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Somalia vs. Al-Shabaab, "best estimate" for 2012". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  18. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Pakistan vs. TTP, "best estimate" for 2010". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  19. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Pakistan vs. TTP and BLA, "best estimate" for 2011". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  20. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Pakistan vs. TTP, TTP-TA, and Lashkar-e-Islam, "best estimate" for 2012". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  21. ^ a b c Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Yemen vs. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, "best estimate" for 2010". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  22. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Libya vs. National Transitional Council and Government of Libya vs. Forces of col. Muammar Gaddafi, "best estimate" for 2011". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  23. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Sudan vs. SLM/A, JEM and SSDM/A, "best estimate" for 2010". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  24. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Sudan vs. SLM/A, JEM,SPLM/A,SSLM/A, SSDM/A, "best estimate" for 2011". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  25. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Sudan vs. SRF, "best estimate" for 2012". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  26. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Syria vs. Free Syrian Army, "best estimate" for 2011". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  27. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Government of Syria vs. Free Syrian Army and Jabhat al-Nusra li al-Sham, "best estimate" for 2012". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  28. ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Best estimate figures given
  29. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Mexico, Non-State Conflict, Juarez Cartel - Sinaloa Cartel, 2008-2012". Ucdp.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  30. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Mexico, Non-State Conflict,Los Zetas - Sinaloa Cartel, 2010-2012". Ucdp.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  31. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Mexico, Non-State Conflict, Gulf Cartel - Los Zetas, 2010-2012". Ucdp.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  32. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Sudan, Non-State Conflict, Lou Nuer - Murle, 2006-2012". Ucdp.uu.se. 2011-07-09. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  33. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Sudan, Non-State Conflict, Misseria - Rizeigat Baggara, 2008-2012". Ucdp.uu.se. 2011-07-09. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  34. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Nigeria, Non-State Conflict, Christians (Nigeria) - Muslims (Nigeria), 1991-2012". Ucdp.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  35. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Nigeria, Non-State Conflict, Anagutas, Afisare, Birom - Fulani, Hausa, 2001-2010". Ucdp.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  36. ^ Box 256. "Uppsala Conflict Data Program data, Best estimate figures given". Pcr.uu.se. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  37. ^ "Database - Uppsala Conflict Data Program". UCDP. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  38. ^ By Edward S Herman and David Peterson. "Reality Denial : Steven Pinker's Apologetics for Western-Imperial Volence; under the sub-heading "Sources and methods"". Zcommunications.org. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  39. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Database för iPhone, iPod touch och iPad i iTunes App Store". Itunes.apple.com. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 
  40. ^ "Uppsala Conflict Database - Android Apps on Google Play". Play.google.com. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2013-06-30. 

External links[edit]