The westernmost extent of the Pacific Ocean has experienced growing conflict in recent years due to overlapping maritime claims between Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Taiwan and China. Despite growing coverage in the news media, among think tanks and great attention from policy makers and politicians, there is a dearth of high-quality social science research on the escalating crisis. In particular, scholarly research on this topic has not taken advantage of the big data revolution.
The South China Sea Data Initiative (SCSDI) is a new project from Emory University and the University of California, San Diego, led by political scientists Renard Sexton and Nico Ravanilla.

The SCSDI aims:

  • Create a new, systematic dataset documenting conflict in the South China sea over the past decade, using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Collect and analyze elite and public opinion survey data from the littoral countries
  • Refocus scholarly and policy analysis on the western Pacific from “US-China struggle” to ASEAN-China competition and cooperation.
  • Generate policy-relevant and theoretically-driven empirical analysis about international relations, conflict and globalization
This project is generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Science Foundation and Emory University.