About the Nationalist Contentious Politics project

This project started with Greg's dissertation. After the dissertation was defended in 2000, Michelle came on board and was instrumental in gathering additional data and further developing theoretical insights. The project as a whole is thus seen as a collaborative effort that ultimately resulted in four peer-reviewed journal articles.

The heart of the data-gathering effort is the contentious-event data that were derived from a non-sampled investigation of the annual indices to the Spanish daily newspaper El País from 1977 to 1996. Our comprehensive search through these indexes yielded 4,051 summaries—each containing a report of one or more violent or nonviolent "contentious actions" by regional nationalist actors.

We used these summaries to code 4,267 discrete nationalist contentious events throughout Spain between 1977 and 1996. Using the same classificatory scheme for each event as the Minorities at Risk project, non-violent events were coded as ‘protest’ (n=2,071) and intentionally violent events as ‘rebellion’ (n=2,196), and each event was assigned a single ‘region’ label according to which of the seventeen Spanish regions formed the basis of support for the action; i.e., protest demonstrations undertaken by ‘Galician’ ethnopolitical actors were counted as ‘Galician’ protest events, wherever the action took place. These annual indicators of regional protest and rebellion form the core of the region/year dataset (n = 340) used in our published articles.

This site is devoted primarily to the region/year replication data. However, we are also making available the 4,051 El País article summaries; they could be an excellent resource for future investigations into the nature of Spanish ethnonationalist contentious politics.

For more information on data source and selection issues, the benefits and drawbacks of event analyses and the use of newspaper indices, and a summary of various data verification and reliability checks, please see the Web Appendix to our 2010 BJPS article. As a result of the data cross-checks we have completed, we are confident that our El País data set is not biased, has a high correspondence to the historical record, and presents the most complete collection of Spanish contentious event data currently available.

Thanks to Greg's dissertation committee, Thomas Rochon, Gary Segura, and Betsy Crighton. Funding generously provided by the European Union Center of California and the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation. Thanks also to Jacek Kugler, Ted Gurr, Will Moore, Siobhan Harty, Harvey Palmer, Jason Sorens, and others for helpful feedback on one or more of the papers published with these data.
Website credits
Website created by Gregory Saxton. Site powered by the django web framework and python programming language. Relational database by SQLite. Google Charts API and django-chart-tools used for interactive graphing capabilities. CSS template generously provided by Andreas Viklund. Django coding assistance provided by Andrei Kulakov.