GeoPolHist is a new tool of knowledge and research dedicated to the geopolitical entities that existed in the world since 1816. The idea for the GeoPolHist project derived from the RICardo trading entities that reflect the variety and complexity of the world trade network since the beginning of the 19th century. The RICardo dataset includes more than 1,400 RICentities, which can be countries, groups of countries, as well as cities, geographical or colonial areas. About 400 RICentities are identified as ‘countries’. Those of the ‘country’ type have been named and coded by using the lists of geopolitical units elaborated by the authors of the Correlates of War project. We revised and completed the COW lists to create a tool for quantitative analysis and visual exploration that traces the political status of more than 1,200 geopolitical entities of the world from 1816 to the present. GeoPolHist is intended to contribute to a renewal of research on the political history of the world over the last two centuries and to a better understanding of the effects of the political status (sovereign, non-sovereign) on other variables (economic, environmental, political…).
Conceptual and methodological issues are described in Béatrice Dedinger & Paul Girard (2021): How many countries in the world? The geopolitical entities of the world and their political status from 1816 to the present, Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, DOI:10.1080/01615440.2021.1939826.