• State Security Forces Dataset, 1960-2010

    How rulers organize and use their security forces has important implications for civil-military relations, repression, and military effectiveness. Yet efforts to understand systematic patterns have been hampered by a lack of reliable data that can be compared across states and within them over time. The State Security Forces (SSF) dataset, which includes 375 security forces in 110 countries, 1960-2010, tracks how each security force is commanded, staffed, equipped, and deployed, as well as the number of security forces and potential counterweights in each state’s security sector as a whole.


    The dataset draws upon 2,200 primary and secondary sources including academic works on military institutions and civil-military relations in each state, historical news sources, annual defense publications, government websites, and reports from non-governmental organizations. I am grateful to the International Peace Research Association Foundation for funding.


    For more information on the dataset, please see: "Mapping Coercive Institutions: The State Security Forces Dataset, 1960-2010."


    For an illustration of how the data can be used to capture rulers' efforts to coup-proof, see: "Preventing Coups d’état: How Counterbalancing Works."