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Polity II: Political Structures and Regime Change, 1800-1986 (ICPSR 09263)

Principal Investigator(s):


Carried out under the auspices of the Data Development for International Research (DDIR) project, POLITY II was designed to develop longitudinal indicators of political structures and regime change. This file encompasses most member states of the international system from 1800 to 1986, and consists of annual codings of regimes' structural characteristics, institutional changes, and the directionality of changes on underlying dimensions of democracy, autocracy, and power concentration.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

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DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Card Image File - Download All Files (8.8 MB)
DS2:  SPSSX EXPORT File - Download All Files (6.6 MB)

Study Description


Gurr, Ted R. POLITY II: POLITICAL STRUCTURES AND REGIME CHANGE, 1800-1986. Boulder, CO: Center for Comparative Politics [producer], 1989. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1990. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09263.v1

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-8610567)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   military regimes, political change, political systems

Geographic Coverage:   Global

Time Period:  

  • 1800--1986

Date of Collection:  

  • 1986--1989

Universe:   Annual observations from 1800 to 1986 of 20 historical countries and 132 contemporary countries encompassing virtually all independent countries with populations of one million or more in the 1980s.

Data Types:   aggregate data

Data Collection Notes:

This collection succeeds an earlier study by the principal investigator and Erica Gurr titled POLITY DATA: PERSISTENCE AND CHANGE IN POLITICAL SYSTEMS, 1800-1971 (ICPSR 5010). Each case represents a country-year observation. The data contain blanks and other nonnumeric codes.


Data Source:

Political characteristics were derived from a wide variety of historical and contemporary sources, including Banks, Arthur S. CROSS-NATIONAL TIME-SERIES DATA FILE. Binghamton, New York: Center for Comparative Political Research, State University of New York, 1986. Fiscal data were culled from the following sources: (1) Mitchell, B.R. EUROPEAN HISTORICAL STATISTICS, 1750-1970. New York: Columbia University Press, 1976. (2) Mitchell, B.R. INTERNATIONAL HISTORICAL STATISTICS: AFRICA AND ASIA. New York: New York University Press, 1982. (3) Mitchell, B.R. INTERNATIONAL HISTORICAL STATISTICS: THE AMERICAS AND AUSTRALASIA. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1983. (4) THE EUROPA YEARBOOK: A WORLD SURVEY. London: Europa Publications Limited, annual (1969-1988).

Restrictions: Copies of pre-publication papers using the POLITY II dataset should be sent to the authors of the related publication cited below.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB9263.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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