Polity Data: Persistence and Change in Political Systems, 1800-1971 (ICPSR 5010)

Published: Feb 16, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
Ted Robert Gurr; Erika Gurr


Version V1

This data collection consists of coded descriptions of the political structures of 144 countries worldwide (428 polities) in the period 1800-1971. One of four distinct but related datasets developed by Robert Gurr and his associates at Princeton University and Northwestern University to test hypotheses about the causes of conflict within contemporary nations and the correlates of institutional change, this study probes why some political institutions perform well and persist in response to challenges and crises while others change abruptly. Operational conceptualization of the study is provided with the description of salient characteristics of political systems in terms of the dimensions of authority patterns. Included are indicators of dimensions of authority, such as the openness of recruitment, decision constraints, participation, directiveness, and complexity, the degree to which each polity was autocratic, democratic, and anocratic, and the dichotomous indicator of coherence of a polity as consistently democratic. Additional data provide information on the circumstances of the birth and death of a polity, including the character of the polity and reasons for its termination. Three related studies focus on civil conflicts in polities: CONFLICT AND SOCIETY (ICPSR 7452), CIVIL STRIFE EVENTS, 1955-1970 (ICPSR 7531), and CIVIL STRIFE CONFLICT MAGNITUDES, 1955-1970 (ICPSR 7485).

Gurr, Ted Robert, and Gurr, Erika. Polity Data:  Persistence and Change in Political Systems, 1800-1971. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR05010.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
Benin   Papua New Guinea   Angola   Cambodia   Sudan   Paraguay   Kazakhstan   Portugal   Syria   North Korea   Greece   Latvia   Iran   Morocco   Mali   Panama   Guatemala   Iraq   Chile   Nepal   Argentina   Georgia (Republic)   Ukraine   Tanzania   Zambia   Ghana   Northern Ireland   India   Canada   Turkey   Belgium   Taiwan   Finland   South Africa   Trinidad and Tobago   Central African Republic   Jamaica   Peru   Turkmenistan   Germany   Yemen   Vietnam (Socialist Republic)   Puerto Rico   Hong Kong   United States   Guinea   China (Peoples Republic)   Somalia   Chad   Madagascar   Ivory Coast   Thailand   Libya   Costa Rica   Sweden   Malawi   Poland   Kuwait   Jordan   Nigeria   Bulgaria   Tunisia   Sri Lanka   Uruguay   United Kingdom   Kenya   Switzerland   Spain   French Polynesia   Lebanon   Cuba   Venezuela   Liberia   Czech Republic   Mauritania   Burkina Faso   Israel   Australia   Soviet Union   Tajikistan   Estonia   Myanmar   Cameroon   Cyprus   Northern Mariana Islands   Malaysia   Iceland   Global   Gabon   South Korea   Austria   Yugoslavia   Mozambique   El Salvador   Luxembourg   Brazil   Algeria   Slovenia   Colombia   Ecuador   Hungary   Japan   Prussia   Albania   New Zealand   Senegal   Italy   Honduras   Ethiopia   Haiti   Afghanistan   Burundi   Singapore   French Guiana   Egypt   Sierra Leone   Bolivia   Vatican City   Russia   Saudi Arabia   Netherlands   Pakistan   Ireland   Slovakia   France   Lithuania   Kyrgyzstan   Romania   Togo   Niger   Philippines   Rwanda   Uzbekistan   Nicaragua   Norway   Democratic Republic of Congo   Denmark   Dominican Republic   Uganda   Mexico   Indonesia

1800 -- 1971

A total of 144 nations, most of which were members of the international system between 1817 and 1940.

(1) STATESMAN'S YEARBOOK, (2) ANNUAL REGISTER, (3) ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD HISTORY, (4) Banks, Arthur S., and Robert B. Textor. A CROSS POLITY SURVEY. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1963, and (5) Banks, Arthur S., and Robert B. Textor. CROSS POLITY SURVEY, 1963 (ICPSR 5004)

aggregate data




  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
ICPSR logo

This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.