This page was created to help instructors introduce quantitative analyses into the classroom using international data. The resources listed here will help students explore international phenomena in a social science setting. Below you will find a list of suggested research topics and associated datasets and ICPSR learning packages.
This information was prepared by Dr. Denise DeGarmo with support from ICPSR's Official Representative Sabbatical Fellowship program and ICPSR.
The topics provided here are meant to help students begin the process of quantitative data exploration. ICPSR datasets that are relevant to each topic have also been identified.
How many and what kind of coup d'etats have occurred in Sub-Sahara Africa?
Wang, T.Y., African Coup Events Data, 1986-1990 (ICPSR 6869)
Describe the alliance behavior of the members of the international community.
Singer, J. David, and Melvin Small, Annual Alliance Membership Data, 1815-1965 (ICPSR 5602)
What is the relationship between economic status and domestic violence?
O'Donnell, Guillermo, Argentina Domestic Violence and Economic Data, 1955-1972 (ICPSR 5213)
What is the pattern of arms trade between developed and developing nations?
Leiss, Amelia, Arms Transfers to Developing Countries, 1945-1968 (ICPSR 5404)
What factors contribute to the outbreak of war?
Bennett, D. Scott, and Allan C. Stam, Behavioral Origins of War (ICPSR 1290)
What kind of economic relationships do European nations have with each other?
Faber, Jan, Annual Data on Nine Economic and Military Characteristics of 78 Nations (SIRE NATDAT), 1948-1983 (ICPSR 9273)
What are the determinants of foreign aid in the Post-Cold War era?
Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu, and Howard J. Wall, The Determinants of Aid in the Post-Cold War Era (ICPSR 21302)
Compare and contrast the demographic and socioeconomic indicators of states in Latin America.
United States Agency for International Development, Economic and Social Indicators for Eighteen Latin American Nations, 1960-1971 (ICPSR 5030)
What are the similarities and differences in the balance of payments for industrial and non-industrial countries?
International Monetary Fund, Balance of Payments Statistics (ICPSR 8623)
Provide a detailed analysis and discussion of international and domestic finance.
International Monetary Fund, Direction of Trade (ICPSR 7628)
Electoral Systems and Political Behavior
Analyze and discuss the indicators of liberal democracy using a cross-national perspective.
Bollen, Kenneth A., Cross-National Indicators of Liberal Democracy, 1950-1990 (ICPSR 2532)
How has political change manifested itself in the behavior of Russian citizens since the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Miller, Arthur H., William Reisinger, and Vicki Hesli, New Soviet Citizen Survey, 1992: Monitoring Political Change (ICPSR 6574)
To what extent have South Africans participated in the truth and reconciliation process?
Gibson, James L., Survey of Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa, 2000-2001 (ICPSR 4030)
Analyze and discuss the changing nature of political parties over time.
Janda, Kenneth, Comparative Political Parties Data, 1950-1962 (ICPSR 7534)
How has the electoral behavior of states changed over time?
Sapiro, Virginia, and W. Philips Shively, Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, 2001-2006 (ICPSR 3808)
What are the voting patterns of states that attended the United Nations Law of the Sea Conference?
Friedheim, Robert L., United Nations Law of the Sea Conference Voting Data, 1958-1960 (ICPSR 5505)
What do Europeans believe are the most important ecological problems in the world?
Rabier, Jacques-Rene, Helene Riffault and Ronald Inglehart, Euro-barometer 18: Ecological Issues, October 1982 (ICPSR 9057)
What is the role of science and scientific solutions in addressing environmental problems?
International Social Survey Program (ISSP), International Social Survey Program: Environment II, 2000 (ICPSR 4104)
What is the general opinion of Europeans regarding radioactive waste disposal and nuclear energy?
Papacostas, Antonis, Eurobarometer 63.2: Radioactive Waste, Transport Services, Farm Animal's Welfare, and Means of Payment, February-March 2005 (ICPSR 4669)
How does population growth vary across countries and regions?
United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census. International Statistical Program Center, World Population, 1950-1975 (ICPSR 7493)
Compare and contrast population demographics in a regional context.
United Nations, Cross-National Population by Age and Sex, 1966-1974 (ICPSR 7623)
What is the mortality rate of people in the developing world compared to the mortality rate of those in the developed world?
Wilmoth, John R., and Vladimir Shkolnikov, Human Mortality Database (ICPSR 138)
What is the status of health care in the Middle East?
What is the status of health care in Southeast Asia?
Andrews, Gary R., World Health Organization Regional Office for Southeast Asia Collaborative Study on Social and Health Aspects of Aging in Burma, Indonesia, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, 1990 (ICPSR 6242)
What role does gender play in socioeconomic development in the developing world?
United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census, Women in Development, 1979-1980 (ICPSR 8053)
Compare and contrast the population dynamics of Asian countries.
Mogdis, Franz, and Karen Tidwell, Characteristics of Asian States, 1956-1968 (ICPSR 5017)
Compare and contrast levels of freedom using a cross-national perspective.
Gastil, Raymond D., Comparative Survey of Freedom, 1972-1976 (ICPSR 7555)
How do Western societies compare in regard to criminal activities and criminal convictions?
Gurr, Ted Robert, and Erika Gurr, Crime in Western Societies, 1945-1974 (ICPSR 7769)
To what extent are countries being exposed to the effects of globalization?
Paxton, Pamela, Edward M. Crenshaw, Rumi Morishima and Kristopher K. Robison, Globalization Comparative Panel Dataset, 1975-1995 (ICPSR 4172)
How has U.S. elite opinion about U.S. foreign policy changed over time?
Holsti, Ole R. and James N. Rosenau, Foreign Policy Leadership Project, 1976-1996 (ICPSR 2614)
What was the effect of the Vietnam War on U.S. foreign policy?
Holsti, Ole R. and James N. Rosenau, Foreign Policy Leadership Project, 1976-1996 (ICPSR 2614)
What do Cubans see as the advantages and disadvantages of living in Cuba?
Institute for International Social Research, Attitudes of Cubans, 1960 (ICPSR 7057)
What do citizens of the former Soviet satellite states think about economic and political reforms launched with the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Reif, Karlheinz and George Cunningham, Central and Eastern Euro-barometer 3: Political Disintegration, October-November 1992 (ICPSR 6106)
What is the relationship between social and political attitudes?
Verba, Sidney, Norman H. Nie and Jae-On Kim, Political Participation and Equality in Seven Nations, 1966-1971 (ICPSR 7768)
What is the pattern of participation by African countries in the United Nations?
Riggs, Robert E., African Participation in the United Nations, 1961-1965 (ICPSR 5516)
How do international organizations manage conflict?
Haas, Ernst, Robert Butterworth, and Joseph Nye, Conflict Management by International Organizations, 1945-1970 (ICPSR 5303)
Compare and contrast the substantive concerns of international organizations.
Lopez, George A., and Jean M. Stern, Comparative Study of Intergovernmental Organizations, 1970-1971 (ICPSR 7385)
Describe the membership characteristics of International Governmental Organizations (IGOs).
Jacobson, Harold K., International Governmental Organizations: Memberships and Characteristics, 1981 and 1992 (ICPSR 6737)
How do international institutions deal with conflict between members of the international community?
Coplin, William, and J. Martin Rochester, Dyadic Disputes, 1920-1968 (ICPSR 5401)
ICPSR learning packages are modules created by various scholars to enhance quantitative analysis in particular issue areas. Instructions regarding use of these packages are available through download.
Asher, Herbert A., Bradley M. Richardson, and Herbert F. Weisberg, Political Participation: An International Social Science Council (ISSC) Workbook in Comparative Analysis (ICPSR 8350)
This instructional collection presents subsets of data from existing national election studies that allow students to perform cross-national analyses of political participation. Data are provided for the following eight countries: Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada, and Germany.
Banks, Arthur S., Cross-National Data Analysis Learning Package (ICPSR 5701)
This study contains cross-sectional data on the economic, political, and population characteristics of 108 independent nations in the period 1961-1970. Also included are limited longitudinal data for 60 nations in the period 1919-1970. The dataset was developed to introduce students to cross-national political data analyses.
Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, ICPSR Instructional Subset: American Leadership Opinion and United States Foreign Policy, 1975 (ICPSR 7519)
This study contains data on the attitudes of American national leaders toward American foreign policy in 1975. The study derives from surveys on the attitudes of the American public and national leaders toward foreign policy conducted by Louis Harris and Associates, commissioned by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in November 1974.
Harvey, Andrew S., et al., Time Budget Research: An International Social Science Council (ISSC) Workbook in Comparative Analysis (ICPSR 8542)
This data collection and its corresponding workbook were designed as an instructional tool to familiarize students with the method of time budget research and to provide an opportunity to conduct analysis with the time budget data on a cross-national basis. The workbook contains exercises to facilitate analyses of the data, and serves as a guide for selecting techniques and measures to be employed in such analyses. The data allow students to examine topics such as the weekend/weekday concept, the status of women, and the family as a unit.
Herz, Thomas A., Social Mobility, [1973-1976]: An International Social Science Council (ISSC) Workbook in Comparative Analysis (ICPSR 8682)
This dataset was constructed to serve as a teaching tool on research methodology in the comparative analysis of social mobility. It consists of a subset of variables taken from a cross-national survey conducted during 1973-76 in the United States and seven west European nations: Austria, Great Britain, West Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and Finland.
Krend, Jeffrey, Reconstruction of Oliver Benson's "Simple Diplomatic Game" (ICPSR 5907)
This data collection contains a revised version of the Simple Diplomatic Game, one of the first all-computer simulations in the international relations field developed by Oliver Benson in 1959. It represents an early attempt to articulate a number of "loose" assumptions about international behavior into a set of computer instructions such that high-speed computing equipment can be used to simulate a variety of international crises situations.
Krend, Jeffrey, War-Peace Module (ICPSR 5908)
This study contains a user-oriented computer module that focuses on 1,951 situations, decisions, and events relative to seven issue areas that emerged from the interactions of ten nations: China, Egypt, France, West Germany, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Israel, Syria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The module was developed to explicate a number of propositions about war and peace between nations and to combine these propositions into an operating model of an international relations system.
Litchfield, R. Burr, and Howard P. Chudacoff, Comparative Cities Teaching Package (ICPSR 7698)
Comparative Cities is a teaching package designed to introduce students to analysis of manuscript schedules of the nineteenth century census for social, urban, family, and demographic history. The files are designed for use with SPSS. It was initially developed at Brown University with assistance of a project grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The file is organized to illustrate contrasts among cities at different stages of industrialization and the demographic transition in Europe and America.
McGowan, Patrick, and Michael O'Leary, Comparative Foreign Policy Learning Package (ICPSR 5703)
This study contains data on national attributes and international interactions for 114 nations in the 1960s. Containing data originally collected by the International Relations Program at Syracuse University, this learning package was developed to provide an introduction to comparative foreign policy analyses and a discussion of how to employ rigorous techniques to develop ideas about the causes and consequences of foreign policy.
Rabier, Jacques-Rene, and Ronald Inglehart, ICPSR Instructional Subset: Women and Men in Italy, Denmark, and Britain, 1975 (ICPSR 7574)
To commemorate the International Women's Year, this instructional subset focused attention upon a wide range of topics relevant to the status of women. The subset was drawn from the first international survey of its kind on the subject, EUROBAROMETER 3: EUROPEAN MEN AND WOMEN, MAY 1975 (ICPSR 7416), conducted in May 1975 by Jacques-Rene Rabier, special advisor to the Commission of European Communities, and Ronald Inglehart of the Institute for Social Research, the University of Michigan.
Rokkan, Stein, et al., Centre-Periphery Structures in Europe [1880-1978]: An International Social Science Council (ISSC) Workbook in Comparative Analysis (ICPSR 7571)
The dataset was constructed at the request of the Standing Committee on Comparative Research of the International Social Science Council to serve as a teaching tool on research methodology in the social sciences. Its purpose is to introduce students to international comparative studies by offering them the opportunity to investigate the structures of territories in modern Western Europe.
Saerlvik, Bo, Social Determinants of Voting in Sweden, 1964 (ICPSR 7339)
This dataset was created primarily for teaching purposes, enabling students to replicate original analyses but also to explore the usefulness of alternative modes of analysis or to test alternative hypotheses. The data were collected from a representative sample of the Swedish electorate at the time of the 1964 Riksdag election in Sweden. Variables ascertained the respondents' voting behavior, party affiliation, and interest in politics.
Taylor, Charles Lewis, and Raymond Tanter, Computer-Aided International Relations (CAIR) Teaching Package, 1965 (ICPSR 5705)
This teaching package contains data on the national characteristics of 136 nations with populations of one million or more in 1965 and smaller countries that had become members of the United Nations by 1968 in the period 1965-1968. Data are provided for the political, economic, and demographic characteristics of each nation.