New Data Available from the Comparative Constitutions Project

Last week the Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP) released two new data sets. These new data are available for download here.

The first data set is an update to the CCP’s Chronology of Constitutional Events. In addition to making a number of minor changes to previously released chronology data, we added constitutional events that occurred from 2007 to 2013. According to our records, there have been 25 new constitutions and 4 interim constitutions written from 2007 through 2013 and 172 constitutional amendments.

The second data set is a major expansion of the CCP’s data on the Characteristics of National Constitutions. The original release of these data (version 1.0)¬†included only the contents of each constitution in force in 2006. The expanded data (version 2.0) contains all of the “cleaned” data available from the project. This includes data from 524 constitutional systems and nearly 1,500 constitutional events, which equates to more than 8,000 country-years.

The figure below illustrates the relationship between the CCP’s characteristics data and its chronology. The dashed line indicates the number of independent states in each year from 1789 to 2013. The solid line indicates the number of constitutions in force in independent states in each of those years. ¬†The shaded area represents the country-years for which the CCP has released data on the characteristics of national constitutions. Overall, the characteristics data are available for 52% of country-years for which there was a constitution in force. As illustrated in the figure, this percentage varies quite a bit over time, ranging from only having data available for about 40% of countries circa World War II to data available for about 85% of countries for much of the last decade.

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