Activities & Achievements

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Activities & Achievements

Transforming information into knowledge
that advances human flourishing.

Explore how the Cline Center and its affiliates are pursuing our shared vision through research, education, collaboration, and outreach.

A Progressive Supervised-learning Approach to Generating Rich Civil Strife Data

"Big data" in the form of unstructured text poses challenges and opportunities to social scientists committed to advancing research frontiers. Because machine-based and humancentric approaches to content analysis have different strengths for extracting information from unstructured text, we…

The Coup D'Etat Project (CDP) White Paper

Coup d'états are important events in the life of a country. They constitute an important subset of irregular transfers of political power that can have important and enduring consequences for a country’s well-being. This notwithstanding, a comprehensive and well-documented inventory of coups has…

Definitions of Destabilizing Events in SPEED

This document is designed to provide operators of the EXTRACT suite of programs with an accessible guide to the definition and meaning of events intended to be captured in the Societal Stability Protocol (SSP) with the Social, Political and Economic Event Database (SPEED) project. It is a…

Representation of Race and Gender in News-Gazette Crime Coverage

This study set out to analyze demographic characteristics of criminal suspects included in crime reporting published by the Champaign (Illinois) News-Gazette newspaper, and to compare the demographics of suspects in the news to the demographics of suspects arrested or jailed in Champaign County…

Do "We" Have a Stake in This War? A Worldwide Test of the In-Group Out-Group Hypothesis Using Open-Source Intelligence

This paper was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association on March 16-19.  It discusses how international relations scholars have long suspected that popular support for war is structured in part by in-group reactions to out-group threats. Huntington’s (1993,…

Climate Change and Civil Unrest: The Impact of Rapid-onset Disasters

This article examines the destabilizing impact of rapid-onset, climate-related disasters. It uses a sample of storms and floods in conjunction with two intensity measures of civil unrest to examine two perspectives on human reactions to disasters (conflictual, cooperative). It also uses insights…

The Endurance of National Constitutions

Constitutions are supposed to provide an enduring structure for politics. Yet only half live more than nineteen years. Why is it that some constitutions endure while others do not? In The Endurance of National Constitutions, Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton examine the causes of…

The SPEED Project's Societal Stability Protocol: An Overview

This document provides an introduction to, and an overview of, the SPEED Project's Societal Stability Protocol (SSP).  The SSP's aim is to generate event data that will advance our understanding of civil unrest in the post-WWII era.  The SSP's focus is on human-initiated destabilizing events,…

The Composition of Religious and Ethnic Groups (CREG) Project

The Composition of Religious and Ethnic Groups (CREG) project is a large-scale effort initiated by the Cline Center as part of its Societal Infrastructures and Development (SID) project. Its objective is to fill an important void in the field of comparative politics by creating a set of time-…

Gauging Civil Unrest with SPEED Data: The Societal Stability Protocol and the Intensity of Civil Unrest

Destabilizing events - whether they are political expression events, politically motivated attacks, disruptive state acts, or some other manifestation of discontent - can vary enormously in their intensity. It is important to capture differences in intensity because they can affect the impact of…

Media Data and Social Science Research: Problems and Approaches

News media provide a unique source of information on important societal developments, both contemporary and historical. Consequently, over the past forty years, social scientists have attempted to utilize media data to study important questions in a number of fields. But these efforts have been…

Measuring Cross-National and Inter-Temporal Differences in Law-Based Orders: 1946-2010

While scholars have grappled with the conceptual ambiguities surrounding the concept of “the rule of law” for well over a century, there has been a renewed interest in this concept in the last two decades. This revival is due in large part to widespread agreement that law based order plays a…

Conceptualizing and Measuring Rule of Law Constructs

This article outlines an effort to gauge cross-national and inter-temporal differences in law-based orders for 165 nations from 1850 to 2010. Despite the increasing importance attributed to “the rule of law,” there have been few efforts to develop objective measures of it. The conceptual…

Fault Lines: Why the Republicans Lost Congress (Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation)

In some years elections bring about enduring changes to the American political scene. In 2006, a pivotal election year, the Republicans suffered a resounding defeat, losing the House and Senate for the first time since the 1994 "Republican Revolution." But what caused this pivotal shift? 

SPEED's Societal Stability Protocol and the Study of Civil Unrest: An Overview and Comparison with Other Event Data Projects

SPEED is a technology-intensive effort to collect a comprehensive body of global event data for the Post WWII era. It is a protocol-driven system that was designed to provide insights into key behavioral patterns and relationships that are valid across countries and over time. SPEED's Societal…