COW COW Inter-State War Data, 1816-1997 (v3.0)


Overview

Version 3.0 of the Correlates of War Inter-State War data set identifies interstate wars and their participants between 1816 and 1997. To be classified as an inter-state war, at least two participants in sustained combat should qualify as members of the interstate system and there should be at least 1000 battle related fatalities among all of the system members involved. A state involved is regarded as a participant if it incurs a minimum of 100 fatalities or has 1000 armed personnel engaged in fighting.


Citation

In any papers or publications that utilize this data set, users are asked to give the version number and cite the article of record for the data set, as follows:

Bibliography Entry: Sarkees, Meredith Reid (2000). "The Correlates of War Data on War: An Update to 1997," Conflict Management and Peace Science, 18/1: 123-144.

Additional information concerning the procedures followed to generate these data are to be found in the following publications.

Singer, J. David, and Melvin Small (1972). The Wages of War, 1816-1965: A Statistical Handbook. New York: John Wiley.

Small, Melvin, and J. David Singer (1982). Resort to Arms: International and Civil Wars, 1816-1980. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications.


Data Set

Version 3.0 of the Correlates of War Inter-State War data set is composed of two files, the formats of which are listed below. The files are CSV with the first line being variable lables. The first file, Inter-State Wars (V 3-0).CSV, presents information about the wars, while the second, Inter-State War Participants (V 3-0).CSV , contains information about the state participation in these wars.

Summaries of the Inter-State Wars and Inter-State War Participants data may also be viewed from this page.

Format of "Inter-State Wars" File

The file has a comma-separated-variable (CSV) format with one record per war. The fields contained in each record are listed below.

Field

Content

WarNo

War number

WarName

Name of war

YrBeg1

First beginning year of war

MonBeg1

First beginning month of war

DayBeg1

First beginning day of war

YrEnd1

First ending year of war

MonEnd1

First ending month of war

DayEnd1

First ending day of war

YrBeg2

Second beginning year of war (-999 = NA)

MonBeg2

Second beginning month of war (-999 = NA)

DayBeg2

Second beginning day of war (-999 = NA)

YrEnd2

Second ending year of war (-999 = NA)

MonEnd2

Second ending month of war (-999 = NA)

DayEnd2

Second ending day of war (-999 = NA)

Duration

Length of war in days

Deaths

Total battle deaths

CenSubSy

At least one central sub-system member in war? (0 = no/NA [all coded "0" after 1920], 1 = yes)

SubSysEa

At least one central sub-system member on each side? (0 = no/NA [all coded "0" after 1920], 1 = yes)

MajPowIn

At least one major power in the war? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

MajPowEa

At least one major power on each side? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

WestHem

Was any part of the war fought in Western Hemisphere? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Europe

Was any part of the war fought in Europe? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Africa

Was any part of the war fought in Africa? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

MidEast

Was any part of the war fought in Middle East? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Asia

Was any part of the war fought in Asia? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Oceania

Was any part of the war fought in Oceania? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Edition

Update code (0 = 1972 original, 1 = 1982 update, 2 = 1990 update, 3 = 1992 update, 4 = 1998 update)

Version

Version number of data set

Format of "Inter-State War Participants" File

The file has a comma-separated-variable (CSV) format with one record per war participant. The fields contained in each record are listed below. NA means "not applicable."

WarNo

War number

StateNum

COW country code of participant

StateAbb

Abbreviated name of participant

YrBeg1

First beginning year of participant's involvement

MonBeg1

First beginning month of participant's involvement

DayBeg1

First beginning day of participant's involvement

YrEnd1

First ending year of participant's involvement

MonEnd1

First ending month of participant's involvement

DayEnd1

First ending day of participant's involvement

YrBeg2

Second beginning year of participant's involvement (-999 = NA)

MonBeg2

Second beginning month of participant's involvement (-999 = NA)

DayBeg2

Second beginning day of participant's involvement (-999 = NA)

YrEnd2

Second ending year of participant's involvement (-999 = NA)

MonEnd2

Second ending month of participant's involvement (-999 = NA)

DayEnd2

Second ending day of participant's involvement (-999 = NA)

Duration

Length of war participation in days

Deaths

Number of battle related deaths sustained by participant's armed forces in war (-999= missing)

Outcome

War outcome for participant (1 = on winning side, 2 = on losing side, 3 = on side A of a tie, 4 = on side B of a tie, 5 = on side A of ongoing war, 6 = on side B of ongoing war)

Initiate

Did state initiate war? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

SysStat

System membership status of state (1 = neither central sub-system member nor major power, 2 = central sub-system member only [only relevant 1816 through 1919], 3 = central sub-system member & a major power [only relevant 1816 through 1919], 4 = major power only)

PrWarPop

Pre-war population in thousands (number from year war begun, -999 = missing)

PrWarArm

Pre-war armed forces in thousands (number from year war begun, -999 = missing)

WestHem

Did state participant engage in fighting in war in Western Hemisphere? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Europe

Did state participant engage in fighting in war in Europe? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Africa

Did state participant engage in fighting in war in Africa? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

MidEast

Did state participant engage in fighting in war in Middle East? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Asia

Did state participant engage in fighting in war in Asia? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Oceania

Did state participant engage in fighting in war in Oceania? (0 = no, 1 = yes)

Version

Version number of data set

 


Relationship between MIDs and Wars

Version 3.0 of the Correlates of War Inter-State War data set is matched to Version 3.10 of the Militarized Interstate Dispute (MID) data set. Each interstate war between 1816 -1997 has its corresponding dispute. This report is available for download here.


Annotated Bibliography

Zachary Shirkey and Alex Weisiger have written a paper providing an annotated bibliography for many of the wars in the interstate war data set. This paper is available for download here.


Questions and Feedback

The war data sets are hosted by Meredith Sarkees, Women & Politics Institute at American University, and Frank Wayman, University of Michigan-Dearborn, under the COW Data Set Hosting Program. In case of questions or concerns concerning the data or coding rules, they may be contacted by email at sarkees@sbcglobal.net and fwayman@umich.edu.