UCDP GED 2.0 now launched!

UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP GED) version 2.0 now released!

Today, 21st October, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program officially releases its latest major dataset update: the UCDP GED version 2.0.

The UCDP GED is an event-based and georeferenced dataset on organized violence, with the latest update making data available for the African and Asian continents, from 1989-2014.

This release contains a major update to our African data, expanding the time series from 2010 to 2014.The biggest innovation is, however, the inclusion in the dataset of the entirety of Asia (the previous release contained only East Asia) from 1989-2014. This release includes organized violence in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.

The dataset now totals approximately 90 000 events of organized violence.

Some changes have also been made to the codebook, to allow for a better and easier user experience. As always, the data are available in several different formats: CSV, KML, Excel, R, SQL, and as shapefiles.

You can see a visualization of the data HERE, and download the data and the codebook HERE. To read the dataset presentation article, please click HERE.

Our next release, coming soon, covers the Middle East from 1989 to 2014.

The UCDP GED contains data on all types of organized violence, disaggregated spatially and temporally down to the level of the individual incidents of fatal violence. Each event comes complete with date of the event, place of the event (with coordinates), actors participating in the event, estimates of fatalities, as well as variables that denote the certainty with which these data are known. The dataset allows for the analysis of the causes, dynamics and resolution of organized violence at a level of analysis below the state system. The data can be conjoined with other sub-state data, such as disaggregated information on population, economy and the environment to allow for types of analyses and answer questions that country-level cannot address.



New charts and graphs

We’ve finished updating the graphs for most of our data on violence, so these now go up until 2012. You can have a peak here: http://www.pcr.uu.se/research/ucdp/charts_and_graphs/ if you want to find different formats.

If you just want to glance, check out the gallery below:



Map of the world’s conflicts in 2012

Sometimes you are forgetful. This applies to a blog as well. I should have posted this as soon as it was done, but nobody is perfect.

Please find a map detailing the world’s armed conflict in 2012 below! (click to enlarge)



Videos, photos and social media in UCDP data (a reply to Will Moore)

Will Moore posted and interesting post at politicalviolenceataglance.org yesterday, and simultaneously tweeted a question to the UCDP that read: ”Do we try to bring citizen images/video into our data collection?”

The post concerned how certain news companies and human rights groups have made it a skill to analyze and verify video and stills from abuses and fighting in conflicts, and also how social media can be a good source to confirm details on the ground. In the social media age there are certainly lots and lots of video, stills and witness statements flying around that could be used in collecting the type of data that the UCDP is interested in.

But, the answer to Will’s question is “we kind of already do”. The ambiguity in this answer has to do with the fact that the UCDP, in its coding, to a certain extent relies on videos and stills at least, although mainly indirectly. We don’t have the resources to monitor all stills and videos that are out there to confirm actors, deaths or locations for our data. We do, however, rely on such data indirectly and we do at times analyze videos and stills for geographic, actor, contextual or other information.

When I say indirectly I mean that when approaching a source based a lot on videos or stills we would not have our coders delve into that material and attempt to code it. We would also not make use of that source in an indirect manner until we are clear about who the sender is, what its bias is and how reliable the information appears to be. If, after a review, such a source appears to be reliable we would tap it for as much information as possible. So, such data will enter our collection, but we would not interpret it ourselves to any great degree. And in the past couple of years the availability of such sites and such data have increased greatly, as is perhaps most visible on the sites that monitor casualties in the Syrian conflict. It is a never-ending parade of stills and vids of dead people (you literally see dead people).

We do approach vids and stills and use other ‘new’ technology when coding though. Perhaps the most important use is to attempt to verify large-scale or significant massacres, but rarely is their good footage of these events as they happen. More common is to use vids and stills to get a feel for context. We used this method widely when considering if the clashes in Thailand a few years back – between the government and the Reds and Blacks – should be included as an armed conflict. There were many videos and great stills of these clashes, which we used to try to understand the conflict dynamics and how the more violent Blacks would stand in front of Reds and attempt to induce violence from the government (or protect the Reds from government violence from another point of view, see picture below). We’ve done the same in other cases, such as in Sri Lanka and in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Visualization can be important for context. But again, this is not in the SOP’s that we use.




More common use of ‘new’ technology is the extensive use we make of Google Earth in georeferencing. Whilst not the greatest tool on Earth for such activities it has a few important uses for countries that are not well covered in gazetteers or other geodatabases. It has been a handy tool in pinpointing the exact locations of bridges, river crossings, islands, minute and isolated villages and many obscure locations. I remember using it a lot when geocoding Libya, through pinpointing remote airfields and crossroads that would otherwise have been impossible to find.

So, to sum up, we almost solely use vids and stills indirectly, through making use of other’s work (which we feel is ok, since so many make use of our final products for free) in interpreting and evaluating these sources. Should we use it more? Currently we lack those types of resources, as coding fatalities globally every year through our present method swallows all available resources (and more). However, we would gladly welcome global projects such as the ones mentioned in the post; they would make our job easier and more reliable.


UCDP in Almedalen, 1/7 2013

The UCDP, represented by its Director Peter Wallensteen (Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict Research 1985-2012, and Richard G. Starmann Sr. Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame), will be attending this year’s Almedalsveckan in Visby, Gotland.

Professor Wallensteen will be presenting the UCDP’s latest data on international trends in armed conflict, introduce the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia to the general public, as well as participate in a panel debate on the topic of ‘What can Sweden do to prevent armed conflicts in the world?’

Other participants in this debate include:

Yves Daccord, Director General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Katarina Engberg, security policy expert at the Ministry of Defense

Allan Widman, member of parliament

Anna-Lena Sörenson, member of parliament

Date: 1/7 2013

Place: Uppsala university, Campus Gotland, Cramérgatan 3 (Studentcentrum)

URL for the event: http://www.almedalsveckan.info/event/user-view/13889;jsessionid=9B1885922FBB96FA0E379ACEFBC55F0F

UCDP Seminar Series: “New Wars, Old Wars, and the Critics”

The UCDP is delighted to welcome you to attend a seminar entitled “New Wars,
Old Wars and the Critics”. Our guest this time is Prof. Mary Kaldor,
accompanied by PhD candidate Anouk S. Rigterink. Magnus Öberg and Jonathan
hall, co-authors (together with Erik Melander) of “The ‘New Wars’ Debate
Revisited: An Empirical Evaluation of the Atrociousness of ‘New Wars'”
(Uppsala Peace Research Paper #9, 2006) will also be present for the

Date: Wednesday 20 February, 2013
Time: 15.00-16.15
Place: Lecture hall 2, Gamla torget

If you want to read up ahead of the seminar we recommend the Melander, Öberg
& Hall (2006) paper, as well as  Kaldor’s (2012)
“New and old wars: organized violence in a global era”, Polity Press.

UCDP Seminar Series

UCDP Seminar Series Present:

”What future for SIPRI?”

Thursday, January 24, 13.15-15.00 Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Gamla torget 3, Lecture Hall 2
Tilman Brück was appointed to become the eight director of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), starting January 2013. He has a background as an economist (DPhil in Economics, University of Oxford) and was, before coming to SIPRI, professor in development economics at Humboldt University of Berlin.
His most recent research focuses on the economic impact of violent conflict and he is also engaged as the co-director of the Household in Conflict Network (HiCN).