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.

Political Regimes and Regime Transitions in Africa, 1910-1994 (ICPSR 6996)

Principal Investigator(s): Bratton, Michael; van de Walle, Nicolas


This data collection focuses on political regimes and regime transitions in 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The first part of the dataset contains information on the characteristics of post-colonial political regimes from independence to December 31, 1989 (63 variables). Economic variables include GNP per capita, inflation, structural adjustment programs, overseas development assistance, and external debt, while social indicators concern ethnic and religious fragmentation. Political variables provide a listing of every national election in Africa from independence to 1989, for totals of 106 presidential and 185 parliamentary contests, the number of political parties, association groups, and media outlets in each country in 1975 and 1989, and type of political regime, including the duration of each regime in years and the total number and mode of previous regime transitions up to 1989. The second part of the dataset covers the political dynamics of regime transitions for the five-year period from the beginning of 1990 to the end of 1994 (36 variables). The researchers created a standardized framework to identify and categorize the key events and features of political transitions, concentrating on landmark events such as political protests, liberalization reforms, elections, and changes of government in each country. In addition, the researchers assembled a complete set of standard election results for every multiparty contest in Africa between 1990 and 1994, along with information on whether observers ruled the vote as free and fair, whether incumbents were ousted, and whether losers accepted the results.

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.


Dataset - Download All Files (0.152 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   

Study Description


Bratton, Michael, and Nicolas van de Walle. POLITICAL REGIMES AND REGIME TRANSITIONS IN AFRICA, 1910-1994. ICPSR06996-v1. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University [producer], 1996. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06996.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06996.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SBR 9309215)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    political change, political protest, political reform, political systems

Geographic Coverage:    Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Global

Time Period:   

  • 1910--1994

Date of Collection:   

  • 1992--1995

Universe:    Sub-Saharan African countries.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

Users should consult the codebook to obtain the value labels.


Sample:    Researchers used an inclusive method of case selection covering 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Information was gathered for two time periods: from independence to December 31, 1989, and from the beginning of 1990 to the end of 1994.


Original ICPSR Release:   1997-08-25

Related Publications



Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics