Security Force Ethnicity Project

Middle East and North Africa, 1946-2013

The Security Force Ethnicity (SFE) project is an effort to build a global, time-series dataset of the ethnic composition of military forces. We intend to apply this data to explore how different configurations of exclusion and inclusion in the military affect important forms of insecurity and instability, such as the onset of coups, insurgencies, and genocides; the willingness of security forces to engage in the violent repression of protest; and the effectiveness of military forces in battle.

The project was started by Ches Thurber (NIU) and Paul Johnson (U.S. Air Force). We have completed an initial version of the dataset for the Middle East region, and an initial article introducing the data and presenting some preliminary findings is forthcoming in Conflict Management and Peace Science.

With Theodore McLauchlin (Université de Montréal) and Julien Morency-Laflamme (John Abbott College), we are currently expanding our data collection efforts to sub-Saharan Africa. Stay tuned for updates.