SDM: A New Dataset on Self-Determination Movements, 1945-2012

This dataset, of self-determination movements (SDMs) with universal coverage for the period from 1945 to 2012, corrects the selection bias that characterizes previous efforts to code SDMs and significantly expands coverage relative to the extant literature. For a random sample of cases, we add information on state–movement interactions and several attributes of SDM groups. The data can be used to study the causes of SDMs, the escalation of self-determination (SD) conflicts over time, and several other theoretical arguments concerning separatist conflict that have previously been tested with incomplete or inferior data.

Cite this dataset as:
Sambanis, N., Germann, M., Schädel, A., 2017. SDM: A New Dataset on Self-Determination Movements, 1945-2012. Sage Publications.


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Nicholas Sambanis
University of Pennsylvania

Micha Germann
University of Bath; University of Pennsylvania

Andreas Schädel
ETH Zürich


University of Bath
Rights Holder


Temporal coverage:

From 1945 to 2012

Geographical coverage:



Additional information:

The creators request that the associated paper is cited in place of this dataset.


Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FNS)

Swiss National Science Foundation Mobility Grant (Project: "The Pitfalls of Direct Democracy: Self-Determination Referendums and Separatist Armed Conflict")

Publication details

Publication date: 30 October 2017
by: Sage Publications

Version: 1

Official landing page URL:

URL for this record:

Related papers and books

Sambanis, N., Germann, M., and Schädel, A., 2017. SDM: A New Data Set on Self-determination Movements with an Application to the Reputational Theory of Conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 62(3), 656-686. Available from:

Contact information

Please contact the Research Data Service in the first instance for all matters concerning this item.

Contact person: Micha Germann


Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Politics, Languages and International Studies