This chapter discusses the Ethnic Power Relations (EPR) family of datasets. These resources are available through the online data portal GROWup (Geographic Research On War, unified platform), which is provided by the International Conflict Research (ICR) group at ETH Zürich (see https://growup.ethz.ch). This platform allows users to gain easy access to data on ethnic groups’ political power and conflict behavior around the world from 1946 through 2009. After describing the motivations, development, and design of the data and the portal, we turn to their research applications.
Introducing the Research Area and the Need for Data In response to the surge of ethnic conflict in the early 1990s, systematic data collection on ethnic groups and their roles intensified. Previous datasets, such as the Atlas Narodov Mira (Bruk and Apenchenko 1964), were primarily anthropological or focused on linguistic differences alone. The new wave of empirical research was led by Gurr’s Minorities at Risk (MAR) project, which introduced a series of political indicators recording grievances and inequalities focusing on exposed minorities (Gurr 1993a, 1993b, 2000). Based on this evidence, Gurr concluded that members of politically, economically, and culturally disadvantaged groups are more likely to stage protest and rebellion against incumbent governments than those who enjoy a more secure position in society. The MAR dataset quickly became the standard source of systematic data on ethnic groups. Thanks to its comprehensiveness, in terms of geographic coverage and the number of variables, the new data resource has spawned an entire research program that analyzes various aspect of ethnic conflict (Hug 2013).