Armed Conflict

In 2019, the Strauss Center, in partnership with the Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset (ACLED) launched a new data project that explores political violence targeting women worldwide. The data capture information on political violence and demonstration events that occur within the public sphere, ranging from war-time sexual violence and attacks on female politicians to repression of everyday women trying to engage in political processes. These data offer a new tool to track politically motivated attacks on women over time and across countries; address a number of critical gaps left by the constellation of efforts over the years to monitor and assess political gender-based violence; and will also complement the range of essential past and ongoing initiatives.

The project is directed by Strauss Center lead Anne Clary and ACLED research director Roudabeh Kishi, with conflict coders at the University of Texas at Austin.

The real-time data is updated weekly and available for download here. FAQs for the data usage are available here.

The Strauss Center’s Defense Department grants provide, among other things, support for ACLED, which tracks the actions of opposition groups, governments, and militias across Africa and Asia. ACLED specifies the exact location and date of battle events, transfers of military control, headquarter establishment, civilian violence, and rioting. ACLED data are disaggregated by type of violence—including battles between armed actors, violence against civilians, and rioting—and by a wide variety of actors including government forces, rebel groups, militias, and civilians.

ACLED is directed by Strauss Center Senior Fellow Clionadh Raleigh of the University of Sussex. It is operated by research director Roudabeh Kishi, with conflict coders at the University of Texas at Austin and several partner universities.

For Africa, ACLED includes continent-wide data from 1997 to 2016, with real-time conflict data updated monthly for all of Africa and weekly for 30 high-risk states. For Asia, ACLED includes data on six countries in South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanks) and five countries in the Mekong region of Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam), updated monthly from January 2016, with ongoing backdating to 2010, published as it is available. All historical and real-time data can be downloaded on this site in excel or at by country in excel and GIS formats.

In addition to collecting real-time data on conflicts continent-wide, ACLED also produces monthly conflict trend reports that highlight escalating and ongoing conflicts, violent group formation, and patterns of violence within conflict-affected states. Africa Conflict Trends reports are available on our CCAPS program site, and Asia Conflict Trends reports are available on our CEPSA program site.

The ACLED data are widely used by U.S. government and military agencies, academic researchers, and international organizations. It is used for a range of purposes, informing humanitarian and development work in conflict-affected contexts, diplomatic policy, and academic research on the dynamics of conflict.

Social Conflict

The Strauss Center’s Defense Department grant provides, among other things, funding for creation of the Social Conflict Analysis Database (SCAD). While previous conflict datasets have focused on large-scale conflicts like civil and international wars, SCAD has catalogued the myriad ways conflict manifests as political and social disorder. SCAD includes protests, riots, strikes, inter-communal conflict, government violence against civilians, and other forms of social conflict.

SCAD is directed by Strauss Center Senior Fellows Cullen Hendrix of the University of Denver and Idean Salehyan of the University of Texas at Dallas.

The current version of SCAD includes information on over 10,300 social conflict events in Africa and Latin America from 1990 to 2015. The updated version of SCAD, released in 2016, expands its temporal geographic coverage to include all countries in Africa, 13 countries in Latin America (Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean), and 7 countries in the Middle East (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen). Each event record contains information on the location, timing, and magnitude of social conflict events, as well as the actors, targets, issues of contention, and government response.

The dataset is now widely used by U.S. government and military agencies, academic researchers, and international organizations.

Click here to access the dataset and here to learn more about the research.