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SHERFACS: A Cross-Paradigm, Hierarchical, and Contextually-Sensitive International Conflict Dataset, 1937-1985 (ICPSR 2292)

Principal Investigator(s): Sherman, Frank L.


The SHERFACS data collection measures political conflict from 1937 through 1985 and identifies some 700 international disputes and 1,000 domestic quarrels. SHERFACS is the culmination of a long line of quantitative studies of international conflict management (the name SHERFACS derives from the name of the principal investigator, Sherman, and the initials of the collaborators on a predecessor dataset: Farris, Alker, Carley, and Sherman). Beginning with the work of Ernst Haas, efforts have been made to expand the focus of conflict management studies to a larger set of management agents and issues. SHERFACS has expanded the study of conflict management in highly significant ways: it models the internal conflict dynamics of escalation and de-escalation (Part 1, Case Overview Data, and Part 2, Phase Structure Data), identifies specific categories of actor behavior (Part 3, Party Actions Within Phases Data), relates the referral or agenda processes of conflict management agents (Part 4, Referrals to Management Agents Data), and specifies the actions taken by the management agents (Part 5, Management Agent Actions Data). An important addition is the inclusion of conflicts that have been considered to be essentially domestic in origin. SHERFACS provides an attempt to enfold the micro-measurement of traditional events datasets within a framework that is contextually sensitive to narrative presentation. The SHERFACS project updates and expands an earlier data collection effort, INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT EPISODES, 1945-1979 (ICPSR 8303).

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Case Overview Data - Download All Files (0.746 MB)
DS2:  Phase Structure Data - Download All Files (1.742 MB)
DS3:  Party Actions Within Phases Data - Download All Files (3.093 MB)
DS4:  Referrals to Management Agents Data - Download All Files (0.442 MB)
DS5:  Management Agent Actions Data - Download All Files (0.465 MB)

Study Description


Sherman, Frank L. SHERFACS: A Cross-Paradigm, Hierarchical, and Contextually-Sensitive International Conflict Dataset, 1937-1985. ICPSR02292-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02292.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02292.v1

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This study was funded by:

  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • National Science Foundation (NSF: SES90-25130)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    conflict resolution, crisis management, international conflict, world politics

Geographic Coverage:    Global

Time Period:   

  • 1937--1985

Date of Collection:   

  • 1987--1995

Universe:    Conflict episodes in the international political system during 1937-1985.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

The data files are comma-delimited.

This collection contains a large number of data/documentation discrepancies that ICPSR could not resolve. The principal investigator was still working on this data collection when he died in 1995.


Data Source:

various textual and machine-readable sources


Original ICPSR Release:   2000-09-29

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB2292.ALL.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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