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The Polity IV Project

1. General description

    The Polity IV Project is a quantitative research project on political governmental organisations. Its website contains annual information on regime and authority characteristics. The information includes all independent states (with a total population of 500,000 or more) in the global state system. The Polity dataset can be used for time-series analyses of political behaviour and for studying the effects of regime authority. The dataset covers the years 1800-2017.

2. Main topics

  • Authority patterns
  •  
  • Political regime characteristics and transitions of states in the world, e.g. democratic and autocratic regimes
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  • Regime legitimacy:
  • Personal (executive recruitment)
  • Substantive (executive constraints to directiveness and responsiveness)
  • Participation (political competition)
  •  
  • State failure: complete collapse of central regime authority
  • State fragility: effectiveness on social and economic development, governance and security

  • Two versions of the Polity IV data are available: the Polity IV Annual Time-Series contains annual records of regime characteristics and transitions and the Polity-Case Dataset provides regime authority information.

3. Data

  • Quantitative data
  • Macro-level data
  • Data cover the years 1800-2017 and are annually updated

4. Countries covered

    167 countries worldwide

5. Keyword search facility on website

    No

6. Data access

  • Polity IV Annual Time-Series:
  • Pooled dataset downloadable in Excel or SPSS format; from CSP/INSCR Data Page
  • Manual downloadable in PDF format; from CSP/INSCR Data Page
  • Free of charge, no registration required
  •  
  • Polity IV Polity-Case Dataset:
  • Pooled dataset downloadable in Excel or SPSS format; from CSP/INSCR Data Page
  • Manual downloadable in PDF format; from CSP/INSCR Data Page
  • Free of charge, no registration required
  •  
  • Polity IV Coups d'Etat 1946-2016 downloadable in Excel format; from CSP/INCR Data Page
  • Per country
  • Codebook downloadable in PDF format; from CSP/INSCR Data Page
  • Free of charge, no registration required
  •  
  • Country reports with prefabricated tables downloadable in PDF format; from The Polity IV Project

7. Additional information