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Armed Conflicts – 1945-2008 :Data Geek Challenge

This is my first blog on SCN and the first one related to Data geek challenge. The hardest part was to finalise on the data set/sets : whether the data is sufficient for my purpose and if yes, which measures were needed and which were not needed.

I wanted to make a research on the Armed conflicts which have happened all over the world till now. So I found a data set related to Armed conflicts published by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), which is an independent research institution known for its policy-relevant research. I combined this with one more data set which had the details of the death tolls in all of these conflicts. However I did not concentrate on the economic impacts of armed conflict(Money spent on each conflict by the particular governments/people involved, damage caused by the conflicts etc).

The data set is related to Armed conflicts over the period 1945-2008. The data set includes several types of armed conflicts apart from interstate conflicts (i.e between countries).

a) Interstate armed conflict (conflict between two or more states).

b) Extrasystemic armed conflict (a conflict between a state and a non-state – which represented as type 4 in the dataset I have used).

c) Internal armed conflict (civil wars).

d) Internationalized internal armed conflict (a conflict between a government of a state and internal opposition groups with intervention from other states)

This data set had two figures on the death toll.

a) Deaths atleast – Number of deaths at bare minimum.

b) Deaths atmost- Number of deaths at the maximum.

1) Total number of deaths by countries in the inter state(Between countries) conflicts/war.


2) Death_Atleast and Death_Atmost by year.


Here in the above graph we see that the values are high during the period 1948 to 1978 and the intensity of the conflicts is determined based on the number of deaths. This prompted me to study country-wise data during the period 1948-1978. I have applied a top ten ranking on deaths in the next graph.

3) Top ten countries based on the number of deaths witnessed during the conflicts from 1948-1978.


The above data/graph prompted me to study more about the conflicts where Vietnam was involved. The graph shows that at least 12 lakh deaths occured in conflicts involving Vietnam. It also shows that Vietnam has experienced the highest number of deaths among all the countries.

4) Death_Atleast and the number of conflicts involved till now.

The font explains the No. of deaths and the Shade of the color is the number of conflicts the country is involved in during the period 1945-2008.


Lets use Lumira to find out more on the data related to Vietnam now.

5) Death-Atleast and Death-Atmost by YEAR where Country is Vietnam.

Here I show you the minimum and maximum deaths that might have occurred year on year in the conflicts involving Vietnam.


The above graph shows values till 1974 and nothing after year 1974. This also suggests that Vietnam has experienced peace after this era.

6) Now lets study the conflicts by region  (Asia,Africa,America,Europe and Middle east).


The above graph shows Asia to be the top effected among all regions.

We already know that Vietnam has experienced the highest number of deaths in Asia till 1976, now lets look into the data after 1976.

7) Death-Atleast and Death-Atmost by Country where YEAR is between 1975 and 2008 and Region is Asia


We can clearly see that India is among the top 3 countries which have experienced the highest number of deaths in the conflicts from 1975-2008. Now I would like to study more about the conflicts where India was involved.

8) We will look into data on armed conflicts involving the Indian government and internal insurgents and external states(i.e interstate wars).

I have used a 3D pie chart for the same. The depth of the pie show the extent of time period over which the conflicts occurred.


The top 3 conflicts India was involved in which extended over a long period of time :

     I)  Kashmir insurgents(1989-2008) with a death toll of atleast 19083.

     II)  Sikh insurgents(1983-1993) with a death toll of atleast 16881.

     III) Pakistan between 1948 till 2003 intermittently with death toll of atleast 14569.

I was amazed to see that the conflicts involving Sikh separatists was highest in number. Then I went back and did some homework and studied that after independence, people from Punjab had issues with Indian government on language and recognition. This started with a peaceful protest and later turned into an armed conflict. (Source : )

The case of the Kashmir conflict is also likewise a conflict of sovereignty (Source : ).

I have created a graph for these three with running sum year on year :



I have also created a story board on the conflicts where India was involved in either interstate or internal conflicts.

The control attribute is the type of the conflict.


We can also analyse other data sets to study the economic impact of the conflicts, the money spent on  wars, all the costs incurred by war such as destruction of infrastructure, war related injuries/diseases, dislocation, years of life lost and insecurity caused by wars. Besides the loss of lives caused directly by war, these can have a disastrous effect on the economy of the countries involved, there by affecting the lives of millions of people.  I would like to conclude with a few quotes :

” War does not determine who is right – only who is left” – Bertrand Russell

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”

–  Dwight D. Eisenhower


I have used the data sets on Armed Conflict by PRIO :

Please let me know your feedbacks.

Thanks & Regards,


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