Genesis of SHERFACS

The SHERFACS Project is the ongoing culmination of a series of research efforts begun by Ernst Haas when he developed a study of UN efforts toward collective security and focused on that organization's efforts to collectively manage international conflict (Haas, 1968; Haas, 1983). Cases included were primarily those in which hostilities occured and were formally placed upon either UN General Assembly or Security Council agendas. Three revisions were made to the Haas study: Efforts in the early 1980's at M.I.T. headed by Frank Sherman and Hayward Alker expanded the Haas-effort in three major ways: Rather than being described in a single linear series of data points, conflict cases were now more fully described by multiple length, and multiple numbered records in five data levels: case overview, phase structure, party actions, management referrals, and management agent actions. For his dissertation in the mid-1980's Sherman continued the adaptation of the Haas-line (with the M.I.T. efforts now termed SHERFACS) by widening the criteria for including cases to all similar cases of challenges to the "sinews" of sovereignty whether or not they proceeded to a crisis or hostilities. Also included was a representation of "internal" conflicts (termed quarrels) that looked at likely extra-legal or violent confrontations between nation-states and minority groups, or between non-national groups within specific states. Nearly 1000 cases of quarrels are now part of the SHERFACS dataset. Over 700 international disputes were also uncovered. The period of historical time spanned from 1945 to the end of 1984.

Evolution of SHERFACS 2.0

The expected update (To be completed by the end of 1995) of the SHERFACS will at least cover cases continuing past 1984 and new cases occurring from the end of 1984 through the end of June 1994. Preliminary findings indicate that the number of cases in the dataset will double. Major developmental changes in SHERFACS include the following:

Current Project Reports

Frank L. Sherman, "Research Design, Operational Protocols, Data Representations and Paradox 4.0 Database Codebook for SHERFACS 2.0," Project Report 3.2, mimeo, (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University, November 1994).

Frank L. Sherman, "List of SHERFACS Cases: Quarrels and Disputes," Project Report 2.3, mimeo, (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University, 1 November 1994).

Frank L. Sherman, "Listing of Ethnic and Religiou Non-national Actors for SHERFACS 2.0," Project Report 14.1, mimeo, (Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University, 31 October 1994).


Richard E. Barringer, War: Patterns of Conflict (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1972).

Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Amelia C. Leiss, Controlling Small Wars: A Strategy For The 1970's (N.Y.: Knopf, 1969).

Robert Lyle Butterworth, Managing Interstate Conflict, 1975-1979: Data With Synopses, unpublished Final Report to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, 1980.

Robert Lyle Butterworth with Margaret E. Scranton, Managing Interstate Conflict, 1945-74: Data With Synopses (Pittsburgh, PA: University Center for International Studies, 1976).

Ernst B. Haas, Collective Security and The Future International System (University of Denver, Denver, Colorado: Monograph Series in World Affairs, Volume 5, Number 1, 1967-1968).

Ernst B. Haas, Why We Still Need The United Nations (Berkeley, CA: Institute of International Studies, 1986).

Joseph S. Nye, Peace in Parts (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1968).

Ernst B. Haas, Robert Lyle Butterworth, and Joseph S. Nye, Conflict Management by International Organizations (Morristown, N.J.: General Learning Press, 1972).

Frank L. Sherman (