University of Bergen               Department of Comparative Politics

 

TWEED project home page

 

 

 

Terrorism in Western Europe: Events Data (TWEED)

 

by

Dr. Jan Oskar Engene

Associate professor

Department of Comparative Politics

University of Bergen

 

 

 

The TWEED data set contains information on events related to internal (or domestic) terrorism in 18 West European countries for the 1950 through 2004 period. Below you can read more about TWEED and download the code book and data file.

 

 

 

Short guide to the TWEED data set

 

The data set Terrorism in Western Europe: Events Data, or TWEED for short, was constructed and collected by Dr. Jan Oskar Engene for the purpose of analysing patterns of terrorism in Western Europe as related to historical and structural preconditions - see Jan Oskar Engene: Terrorism in Western Europe: Explaining the trends since 1950, Cheltenham UK/Northampton MA, USA: Edward Elgar, 2004.

 

TWEED contains information on events related to internal (or domestic) terrorism in 18 West European countries. The countries covered are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

 

By limiting itself to internal terrorism, the TWEED data set only includes events initiated by agents originating in the West European countries. Mostly, the acts of terrorism recorded in the TWEED data set originated in the political systems of the West European countries and were directed against other agents internal to these political systems. In other words, terrorist acts Aimported@ from outside the West European countries are excluded from the data set. This means that most of what is known as international terrorism is not covered by the TWEED data set. TWEED does contain, however, cases where an agent from one West European country carries out attacks in a different country within the region.

 

In the context of the TWEED data set, terrorism is understood theoretically as a form of violence that uses targets of violence in an indirect way in order to influence third parties, audiences. However, when turning to news sources used to construct data sets, such an abstract definition would be difficult to apply. For selection purposes, this general definition is applied in conjunction with a list of specific kinds of events that may typically be considered potential acts of terrorism, such as bombings, explosions, rocket attacks, abductions, shootings, sieges, armed attacks, arson, and similar violent actions. When such actions are judged to be cases of indirect violence employed to influence third parties, they have been selected for inclusion in the TWEED data set.

 

In the TWEED data set, data has been collected for the period from 1950 to 2004. Originally the data set covered the period from 1950 up till 1990. After the initial round of data collection, the TWEED data set has been updated several times so that it now covers the period through to the end of 2004.

 

In total, 11.026 events are recorded in the TWEED data set. Of these, 9542 events (86.5%) are actions initiated by terrorist groups or non-state agents. The remaining events are government actions directed mainly against terrorists. The total number of deaths resulting from actions by terrorist agents recorded in the TWEED data set is 2959. The data set records activities by around 200 terrorist groups identified by name. You can learn more about the TWEED data set and the variables included in it from the code book.

 

 

Downloads

 

 

TWEED Code book

(PDF format)

 

 

TWEED data set

(SPSS format)

 

 

Conditions for use

 

The TWEED data file may be downloaded and used for educational and research purposes by students and researchers provided proper acknowledgement and references (citations referring to this page and to Jan Oskar Engene: “Five Decades of Terrorism in Europe: The TWEED Dataset”, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 44, no. 1, 2007, pp. 109–121) are given. The data set may not be passed on or sold to third parties. Copyright 2006: Dr. Jan Oskar Engene.

Disclaimer: The data is provided as is. The compiler of the TWEED data set bears no responsibility for uses of the data set or for analyses, interpretations or inferences resulting from the use of the data set.

 

 

 

Further references

Jan Oskar Engene: "Five Decades of Terrorism in Europe: The TWEED Dataset", Journal of Peace Research, vol. 44, no. 1, 2007, pp. 109–121 

Jan Oskar Engene: Europeisk terrorisme: Vold, stat og legitimitet, Oslo: Tano, 1994

Jan Oskar Engene: Patterns of terrorism in Western Europe, 1950-1995, Dr.polit. dissertation, Department of comparative politics, University of Bergen, 1998

 

 

 

Contact information

 

     Dr. Jan Oskar Engene, e-mail < jan.engene@isp.uib.no >

     Department of Comparative Politics

     University of Bergen

     Christiesgt.15

     NO-5007 Bergen

     Norway