March 31, 2015
Conflict Management and Peace Science, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 198-223, March 2016
The expectation that international organizations (IOs) can play a role in the resolution of violent conflict has spawned a process of institutional growth in the post-World War II period. IOs at all levels have expanded existing instruments of conflict management and have gradually established new ones, such as mediation support units, early warning systems, and standby military forces. Empirical research on this process has suffered from a lack of systematic, crosstemporal data. Seeking to rectify this weakness, this article introduces an original dataset on the institutional design of 21 peace-brokering IOs, organizations endowed with standing capabilities for conflict management interventions. The dataset contains yearly observations on 14 institutional variables during the 1945 to 2010 period, centered around three instruments of IO conflict management: mediation, economic sanctions, and peacekeeping. It also includes observations on IO membership characteristics, power polarity, and a set of security-related institutional features. This dataset provides scholars with a new source of variables for the study of institutional evolution, institutional heterogeneity, and the impact of institutional characteristics on IO performance. A preliminary descriptive analysis shows that IOs display significant variation in terms of mandates, capabilities, and rates of change. Using the data, I also perform a reappraisal of an earlier study on IO dispute resolution, demonstrating the analytic benefits of having disaggregated measures of institutional design.