The ICOW Identity Claims Data Set

The identity claims data set follows the general guidelines on the ICOW home page.

An identity claim is defined as explicit contention between two or more nation-states over the status of an ethnic group that is located in both states. More specifically, official government representatives of the challenger state (i.e., individuals who are authorized to make or state foreign policy positions for their government) must make explicit claims or demands regarding the treatment or status of their ethnic kin in the target state.

Please note that the ICOW Project and its directors do not take or endorse official positions on any identity claims. Our goal is to identify cases where nation-states have disagreed over specific issues in the modern era, as well as measuring what made those issues valuable to them and studying how they chose to manage or settle those issues. Inclusion/exclusion of specific cases, and coding of details related to those cases, follows strict guidelines presented in the project's coding manuals (which are available below).

Measuring Claim Salience

Much like territorial, river, and maritime claims, the salience of identity claims is measured by a 0-12 index, which includes up to six points each for the claim's challenger and target states (one point each for six indicators of salience). The salience of a claim is based on the relationship between the shared ethnic group that is the subject of the claim and each of the two claimant countries:

Project Participants

Current Status

Data collection and coding remains underway. The data set is expected to be completed and released by the end of 2019. More details and summary statistics will be provided here once the data set is complete.

Data Set References

The following article was the first to discuss the identity claims data set, although the data set was not yet completed:

We will include links to work introducing and using the identity claims data set here, once this work has been presented or published.

Download the Coding Manuals and Data

All ICOW data sets may be downloaded freely, but we request several professional courtesies from users:

Coding Manuals

The following links provide access to the coding manuals and other useful information:


Please note that this, like all ICOW data sets, uses the list of country codes in the COW interstate system. Please see that list for help in identifying which countries were involved in the events included in this data set, or for any questions about when each country was considered a sovereign, recognized state.

Contact Information

The ICOW Identity Claims data set is collected by a four-university team, and is maintained by Paul Hensel at the University of North Texas. Please contact him with any questions about the data set:
Last updated: 5 February 2019
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