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The Conflict Map - About

In the course of the 20th century, mankind experienced some of the most devastating wars of all times. Where did these wars take place? Have some regions experienced more wars than others? Who were the main protagonists in these conflicts? This map gives you the opportunity to answer these questions. It displays wars with at least 1 000 military battle deaths.

The Nobel Peace Prize celebrated its centennial in 2001. Where did the Laureates and nominees come from? How many Africans have received the prize? Alongside the map on wars you will find statistics showing the geographical distribution of Nobel Peace Prize nominees and Laureates since 1901.

Conflict Map

First published: April 2002
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Credits  »

Wars in the 20th Century

Definitions and Categories

The map includes more than 200 wars from 1899-2001. Each flame represents one war. "War" according to our definition is an armed conflict with at least 1 000 military battle deaths, where at least one of the parties is the government of a state. The casualty figure provided on the map refers to military losses, unless otherwise stated. This means that many smaller wars are not included, in most cases because of this casualty threshold.

Although considered fairly reliable, the casualty figures given here should be regarded as estimates and must therefore be used with a great deal of caution. Civilian deaths are generally not included even if they are battle-connected. Nor are the victims of famine or epidemics caused by an armed conflict. It is also unclear how the data collectors coded the casualties for civil wars and colonial wars. In many cases only the figure for the government actor is included, and it is often an impossible task to account for the exact number of dead. However, the figures are included here in order to provide a simple measure of the severity of a conflict.

We have three categories of war. Firstly, interstate wars, i.e. conflicts between independent states. Secondly, colonial wars between a state and a national entity in a peripheral territory of that state (colony or annexed/occupied territory). Thirdly, we have civil wars between the government and an organized armed group within a state.

The two world wars are treated somewhat differently from the other
conflicts, in that they are not represented by a flame, but by a special
symbol representing events or processes of particular importance to the
course of these wars.

The map tells us where and when wars were fought and gives a brief summary of the conflict scenarios. However, it does not explain the deeper causes of war or how they end.

Nobel Peace Prize Statistics

In addition to conflicts, the map also provides statistical information on the geographical distribution of Peace Prize laureates and nominees during the period 1901-2001. There are seven categories: international organisations, North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

Eastern Europe includes Central Europe, Russia and the countries that emerged from the former Soviet Union. It corresponds to what was known as the Eastern bloc during the Cold War era (1945-1989). Asia includes the Middle East, and even Australia and Oceania. It is therefore substantially larger than the other regions displayed on the map.

It is important to emphasize that the nomination figures are aggregate numbers, meaning that a candidate nominated three years in a row, for instance, is in fact counted three times in the column for the period displayed.

Sources and Select Bibliography

Conflicts

The main data sources for the conflict map are:

  • J. David Singer and Melvin Small, Correlates of war project: International and civil war data 1816-1992. Computer file. Ann Arbor, MI; Distributed by Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR 9905), 1994.

  • Nils Petter Gleditsch, Peter Wallensteen, Mikael Eriksson, Margareta Sollenberg & Håvard Strand, Armed conflict 1946-2000: A new dataset. Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University and International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), 2001.


Other useful references:
The annual register: a record of world events. – London: Longman, 1899-2001.
Guy Arnold, Wars in the third world since 1945. – London: Cassel, 1991.
Patrick Brogan, World conflicts. – London: Bloomsbury, 1998.
Encyclopedia Britannica Online
Institute for Conflict Resolution (INCORE), University of Ulster.
John Keegan, The first world war. – London: Hutchinson, 1998.
John Keegan, The second world war. – London: Hutchinson, 1989.
Keesing's record of world events. – Cambridge: Keesing's worldwide, 1931-2001.
George C. Kohn, Dictionary of wars. – Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999.
Melvin Small and J. David Singer, Resort to arms: international and civil wars, 1816-1980. – Beverly Hills: Sage, 1982.
Stockholm International Peace Reseach Institute (SIPRI),
SIPRI Yearbook. – Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987-2001.
Dan Smith, The state of war and peace atlas. – London: Penguin, 1997.


Peace Prize Statistics

The figures were compiled on the basis of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's annual list of candidates in Redegjørelser for Nobels fredspris (see Sources for the history of the Nobel Peace Prize), and the list of laureates.

Other useful references:
Irwin Abrams The Nobel Peace Prize and the laureates: an illustrated biographical history 1901-2001. – Nantucket: Science history publications, 2001.
Øivind Stenersen, Ivar Libæk and Asle Sveen, The Nobel Peace Prize: one hundred years for peace: laureates 1901-2001. – Oslo: Cappelen, 2001.

 


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MLA style: "Conflict Map - About". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 16 Sep 2014. <http://www.nobelprize.org/educational/peace/conflictmap/about.html>

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