The quantitative study of armed conflict is rapidly developing. The Armed Conflict Dataset, a joint Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) and PRIO project, has for some time been the most widely used dataset in this field. In order to maintain this status we must address the changing needs of the research community.
The infrastructure we propose will be a framework for data collection projects. A key challenge for the field as a whole is that many innovative datasets are based on idiosyncratic data struct ures, which makes them difficult to combine and expensive to collect. We want to develop three authoritative data structures, based on the Armed Conflict Dataset, which third parties can use as a starting point for collecting data, and we want to set up a bibliography of relevant sources, organized by conflict.
The standardized data structures we propose will cover (i) the actors involved in conflicts (ii) the geographic location of conflicts, and (iii) a grid-structure that opens up the possibility of collecting sub-national data in a systematic, transparent and rigorous way.
Researchers that choose to use our framework as their starting point will be relieved of the task of defining the universe of cases, will have access to a rich set of information material, and will make their end product compatible with many others. This will reduce costs and improve usability.
We plan to spend four years establishing this framework, and after that period we intend to work with third-party data collection projec ts to secure future funding. With this platform in place PRIO will be in a very good position to build on the achievements of the Centre for the Study of Civil Wars.
The project will be staffed by a Research Professor and three Senior Researchers, a full -time research assistant position, and will be aided by a Supervising Council consisting of five prominent members of the national and international research community.