Civilian Control Scores


Civilian control of political institutions is an essential condition for stability in any political regime. Yet, countries vary wildly in the extent to which the armed forces have been removed from political offices, and military coups remain a leading cause of collapse in democracies and autocracies alike. The latent Civilian Control Scores (CCS) data provide a quantitative measure of civilian control, defined as the extent to which civilians dominate political decision-making and the robustness of this dominance to military involvement in politics.
These scores are available for virtually all countries from 1946 to 2010. Two sets of estimates are available, one static and the other dynamic. The static measure estimates civilian control based exclusively on a country’s political institutions at the outset of a particular year. The dynamic measure includes these elements, but also incorporates history into account using a dynamic modeling structure.  The latter was constructed and validated to test a theory of self-reinforcing civilian control.
The data are available at the Civilian Control Scores Dataverse.  Full replication files for the article of record are available here.
Users of the data are asked to please cite:
Advice for Practitioners:
Latent variable models are an increasingly common way to measure unobservable political phenomena.  You can find a general overview of latent variable modeling here, and a discussion of dynamic modeling strategies here. Like many latent variable models, one useful attribute of the CCS is that they include estimates of uncertainty around the latent trait. These can be incorporated in to regression modeling using the same tools applied in multiple imputation.
Other Civil-Military Relations Data Sources
A growing number of researchers are producing new and innovative data sources for the scientific study of civil-military relations. Users of the civilian control score data might also be interested in the following (roughly listed in alphabetical order):
  • The Colpus Dataset on coup occurrence
  • The Cheibub, Ghandi, and Vreeland data distinguish military dictatorships from other forms of autocracy
  • Geddes, Wright, and Frantz provide data on autocratic regime structures, with information on military institutions
  • The LEAD Data by Horowitz, Ellis, and Stam, which contains data on leader backgrounds, including military experience
  • Peter White’s Military Participation in Government data tracks cabinet and state council-level positions held by military officers
  • The Narang and Talmadge data on wartime civil-military relations
  • Pilster and Böhmelt‘s counterbalancing/coup proofing data.
  • The Powell and Thyne data on coup occurrence
  • The Relational Pro-Government Militias data from Magid and Schon, which codes PGM ethnic and alliance relationships with their governments in Africa
  • Erica DeBruin’s Security Forces Data provides extensive information on how rulers organize, and potentially coup-proof their security forces
  • The Security Force and Ethnicity Project by Paul Johnson and Ches Thurber provides data on the ethnic composition of state security forces
  • Jun Sudduth‘s data on military purges identifies when (year) and how dictators eliminate potentially disloyal military officers from key positions of the regime. It includes information on all 432 political leaders in 111 authoritarian countries from 1969 to 2003.
  • Milan Svolik‘s autocratic regimes data includes information on different types of military involvement in politics
  • Jessica Weeks provides data classifying different types of military regimes and an index of military involvement in politics