All Upton Institute data is available to members. Membership is available by donation or in exchange for data that conforms to our quality standards.
The Military Recruitment Data Set is the most widely cited source for research on historical military recruitment, having been used by The Economist, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and others. The data set contains country-year entries with a dummy indicator of volunteer versus conscript recruitment for all countries from 1816 to 2008 (using Correlates of War country codes). Some entries also contain values for the typical term of enlistment for a given year (data which was never been released). The codebook (PDF) contains complete details on sources and country-specific caveats, of which researchers should be aware before using the data.
For years this data was made available for free to researchers in the hope that they would improve and expand on the data. Since this has not happened, the Upton Institute now offers this data on a membership basis, in order to fund improvements in the data. See our membership page for more details.
The Military Schools Data Set has never been publicly released, but it is available now from the Upton Institute. This data set contains entries for every national military school involved in officer education, including information on what level students are enrolled (precommissioning, junior, staff, and senior levels). Each entry also contains multiple sources, making this data set an ideal starting point for researchers and analysts interested in the structure of military education in a country. The Military Schools Data Set constituted an essential element of the analysis in How Militaries Learn: Human Capital, Military Education, and Battlefield Effectiveness.
The Upton Institute makes this data available on a subscription basis to fund updates and analysis. Read the codebook here.
The Military Periodicals Data Set has never been publicly released, but it is available now from the Upton Institute. This data set contains entries for every military periodical published around the world from the 1790s to the 2000s. This data is an ideal place to start for researchers and analysts interested in understanding how a country disseminates ideas about the military. The Military Periodicals Data Set constituted an essential element of the analysis in How Militaries Learn: Human Capital, Military Education, and Battlefield Effectiveness.
The Upton Institute makes this data available on a membership basis to fund updates and analysis. Read the codebook here.
Research Based on Upton Institute Data
Ari, Baris. "Uncrossing the Rubicon: Transitions from Violent Civil Conflict to Peace." PhD diss., University of Essex, 2018.
Chaudry, Suparna, Sabrina Karim, and Matt K. Scroggs. "How Leaders’ Experiences and Rebellion Shape Military Recruitment During Civil War." Journal of Peace Research 58, no. 5 (2020): 915-929.
Horowitz, Michael C., and Matthew S. Levendusky. "Drafting support for war: Conscription and mass support for warfare." Journal of Politics 73, no. 2 (2011): 524-534.
Ingesson, Tony, Mårten Lindberg, Johannes Lindvall, and Jan Teorell. "The martial origins of democracy: a global study of military conscription and suffrage extensions since the Napoleonic wars." Democratization 25, no. 4 (2018): 633-651.
Johnson, Paul Lorenzo. "Virtuous shirking: Social identity, military recruitment, and unwillingness to repress." PhD diss., University of California, Davis, 2017.
Konstantinidis, Nikitas. "Military conscription, external security, and income inequality: The missing link." Journal of Theoretical Politics 32, no. 2 (2020): 312-347.
Langlotz, Sarah, and Niklas Potrafke. "Does development aid increase military expenditure?" Journal of Comparative Economics 47, no. 3 (2019): 735-757.
Lichtenheld, Adam G. "Making Migrations: Population Displacement Strategies in Civil Wars." PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2019.
Lutscher, Philipp M. "The More Fragmented the Better?—The Impact of Armed Forces Structure on Defection during Nonviolent Popular Uprisings." International Interactions 42, no. 2 (2016): 350-375.
Margulies, Max Z. "Patrons and personnel: The determinants of military recruitment policies." Security Studies 30 (2021): 354-384.
Obinger, Herbert. "Conscription, the Military, and Welfare State Development." Historical Social Research/Historische Sozialforschung 45, no. 2 (172 (2020): 7-26.
Obinger, Herbert, Klaus Petersen, and Peter Starke, eds. Warfare and welfare: Military conflict and welfare state development in western countries. Oxford University Press, 2018.
Tarabar, Danko, and Joshua C. Hall. "Explaining the worldwide decline in the length of mandatory military service, 1970–2010." Public Choice 168, no. 1 (2016): 55-74.
Toronto, Nathan W. How Militaries Learn: Human Capital, Military Education, and Battlefield Effectiveness. Lexington Books, 2018.
Toronto, Nathan W. "Military Learning and Evolutions in Warfare in the Modern Era." Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. 2021.
Toronto, Nathan W., and Lindsay P. Cohn. "Conscription and the Politics of Military Recruitment." Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. 2020.
Willardson, Spencer L. "Under the influence Of arms: the foreign policy causes and consequences of arms transfers." PhD diss., University of Iowa, 2013.