These projects concern relating various conceptions of relative power to the amount of violent conflict that is experienced by a system of states (countries).
The violent conflict data come from another project of mine, my effort to develop a taxonomy of violent conflicts. The power side of the relationship is explained here.
The conceptions of relative power of interest to me are:
* System Structure–Can the system of states be described as being unipolar, bipolar, tripolar, or multipolar? Which type of system structure experiences more/less violent conflict than compared to the others? Papers examining the relationship between system structure and violent conflict for Europe and South Asia and China are available.
* Power Parity–Do you have a situation of one country with significantly greater power than any other country or do you have a situation where the top two or three countries have approximately equal power? Do situations of approximate parity experience more/less violent conflict than situations of non-parity?
* Power Preponderance–Is the power in a system of states concentrated in one country? Do situations with a hegemon experience more/less violent conflict than situations where there is not a preponderant country? A paper looking at the impact of power parity and power preponderance on the amount of violent conflict is available.
* Power Transition–Do you have a situation where one country passes another country in terms of relative power to become the leader of the system of states in terms of power? Do violent conflicts accompany transitions? And if so, under what conditions?
* Power Cycles–Countries go through trajectories, even cycles, in terms of their power relative to other countries. Does a country’s trajectory or where it is in the cycle affect its likelihood of being involved in a violent conflict? A paper I presented at the 2002 Peace Science Society meeting examining the relationship between power cycles and violent conflict is available.
To answer the questions related to these different conceptions, I found I had to develop an index of country power with a longer time series than had been developed up to this time. I have developed such an index (in truth, an index of material capabilities), and the goal of this web page is to provide interested individuals the index for 12 countries, the data that went into the calculation of the index values, and additional data for other countries for which it was not possible to develop the power index. Two papers describing the power index, one of them presented at the 2005 International Studies Association conference, are available.
The base dataset contains the power index values for the 12 countries for which I could get sufficient data, the raw data for the four components of the index for each of the countries, the sums of the components across the 12 countries so that country shares (and thus index values) could be calculated, the component shares for each country, and different measures of power concentration.
An alternative dataset is available that is different from the base version in that only the data for the years in which a country could be considered a major power are included for each country. The net effect is that each country’s power share may be slightly higher in some years because countries that were minor powers for a number of years such as Sweden are removed from the power share calculation during those years they were not a major power and thus the relative power shares are distributed across a smaller number of countries. For many studies this might be the preferred dataset.
In the process of making the power index datasets, I created seven others that may be helpful to researchers.
The first of the seven ancillary datasets contains industrial production time series for 40 countries and regions from as far back as 1750 up to 1980 that I generated from figures available in a paper by Paul Bairoch, “International Industrialization Levels from 1750 to 1980,” The Journal of European Economic History, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Fall), 1982, pp. 269-333. I took his datapoints (from Tables 2, 5, 8, 11, 15), put them into a STATA datafile, and had STATA perform an interpolation procedure (ipolate) that generated numbers for the years between datapoints. The file is in comma-separated-variable (CSV) format and contains columns for both the data from Bairoch’s paper and the full, interpolated time series. A researcher using these data should look at Bairoch’s paper for a better understanding of how they were generated and their limitations.
The second of the seven ancillary datasets contains industrial production per capita time series for the same 40 countries and regions. These data come from the same paper as the industrial production data (from Tables 4, 6, 9, 12, 16), and observations and caveats about the data are the same.
The third of the seven ancillary datasets contains GNP time series for 28 countries and Europe as a region from as far back as 1800 up to 1975 that I generated from figures available in another paper by Paul Bairoch, “Europe’s Gross National Product: 1800-1975,” The Journal of European Economic History, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Fall), 1976, pp. 273-340 (Tables 1, 2, 4, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16). These numbers were created using the same procedure as was done for the industrial production data, and as with the industrial production data, a researcher using these GNP data should look at Bairoch’s paper for a better understanding of how they were generated and their limitations. A few additional GNP datapoints I calculated from data by Bairoch reported in Fernand Braudel’s The Perspective of the World (1992) but not in the dataset are (in millions of 1960 US Dollars): World (1750): $155,000; Japan (1750): $4,640; Western Europe plus Russia plus North America (1750): $30,360; India (1800): $34,555; China (1800): $75,240.
The fourth of the seven ancillary datasets contains GNP per capita time series for 28 countries and Europe as a region from as far back as 1700 up to 1975. The bulk of the data come from Bairoch’s 1976 paper used for the GNP data (Tables 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, 14, 18), but a few additional, earlier datapoints were garnered from data generated by Bairoch that were reported in Fernand Braudel, The Perspective of the World, Civilization & Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. 3, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992, p. 534. As with the previous series, the data were interpolated using the STATA ipolate command, the file contains both the actual datapoints and the interpolated series, and the research should look at Bairoch’s paper regarding the nature of the data. A few additional GNP per capita datapoints from data by Bairoch reported in Braudel’s The Perspective of the World but not in the dataset are (in millions of 1960 US Dollars): USA (1710): $250-290; Japan (1750): $160; India (1800): $160-210; China (1800): $228.
The fifth of the seven ancillary datasets also contains GNP per capita time series, but the data come from a later paper by Paul Bairoch, “The Main Trends in National Economic Disparities since the Industrial Revolution,” in Paul Bairoch and Maurice Levy-Leboyer, eds., Disparities in Economic Development since the Industrial Revolution, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981, pp. 3-17 (Tables 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.7) augmented from Paul Bairoch, “Le Volume des Productions et du Produit National dans le Tiers Monde (1900-1977)”, Revue Tiers Monde, Tome XX, Number 80, Octobre-Decembre 1979, pp. 669-691 (Tableau 10) and the previously mentioned data in the Braudel book. This dataset contains data for 39 countries and regions, most of them in Europe, and the world, from 1700 to 1977, and was produced in a manner analogous to the previous datasets.
The sixth of the seven ancillary datasets is slightly different. It was constructed by taking the GNP per capita figures found in the previous dataset and the Braudel book mentioned earlier, and where possible, multiplying them by the corresponding population data found in the next dataset. This procedure gave me GNP data for 10 countries and regions and the world for the period 1700 to 1977.
The seventh of the seven ancillary datasets contains population data for 149 countries and regions and the world for the period 1400 to 2000. The datapoints were extracted from Colin McEvedy and Richard Jones, Atlas of World Population History, New York: Facts on File, 1978 and subjected to the same interpolation procedure as the previous datasets.