Internationalization of Intrastate Armed Conflicts Dataset v.2.0-2020 (RFBR 18-314-00006\18)

Published: 22-03-2020| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/djvfpvvdbj.2
Denis Golubev,
Irina Antonova


This dataset is part of the research project on internationalization of intrastate armed conflicts funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) according to the research project № 18-314-00006\18. It proceeds from an alternative expanded conceptualization of the phenomenon of internationalized internal conflict which argues that accounting for involvement of external state-based actors into intrastate conflict is insufficient for understanding the complex interplay between various international, transnational and cross-border processes that form multiple reinforcing and counterbalancing links and feedback loops. To this end, we offer re-operationalization of the internationalization phenomenon based on an integrated three-dimensional framework which differentiates between three dimensions of internationalization (interpreted in a broader sense). The horizontal dimension (horizontal escalation) represents varied processes through which the spatial spread of organized violence (often originated on the sub-state level) affects the territory of other (usually neighboring) countries leading to consequences (usually destabilizing) for both the source state and the recipient state. The vertical dimension (vertical escalation) covers the processes by which either the structure of a conflict gets expanded to involve outside (foreign) actors, normally as secondary (supporting) parties, or (often as a result of the former) the nominal level of conflict gets upgraded from intrastate to interstate. Vertical escalation is enabled either through an attack by a source state on the territory or subjects of one or more of its neighbors (outward-directed vertical escalation), or alternatively through intervention by a state-based external actor into the original internal conflict (inward-directed vertical escalation). Finally, the systemic dimension (systemic escalation) denotes the expansion of international systemic limits of original conflict by increased political stake, interest and/or attention of various international actors vis-à-vis the conflict in question, through its “proxy-fication” or connectedness with other conflicts in the neighborhood. The proposed dimensions are conceptual constructs aimed at facilitating the analysis of conflict dynamics and are not intended to be interpreted literally. This current version of the dataset (2.0) covers the universe of armed conflicts in the regions of Europe (excl. FSU), Former Soviet Union (FSU), and Asia for the period from 1975 to 2018, and the Middle East and North Africa region for the period from 1989 to 2018.