Polity II: Political Structures and Regime Change, 1800-1986 (ICPSR 9263)

Version Date: Jan 18, 2006 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Ted Robert Gurr


Version V1

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.

Gurr, Ted Robert. Polity II: Political Structures and Regime Change, 1800-1986. [distributor], 2006-01-18. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09263.v1

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National Science Foundation (SES-8610567)

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

1800 -- 1986
1986 -- 1989
  1. 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.


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.

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).



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • 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

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.



  • Curation and dissemination of this study is provided by the institutional members of ICPSR, and data is available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. To determine if you are at a member institution, check the list of ICPSR member institutions, or learn more about becoming a member.

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