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Disaggregating Torture Allegations: Introducing the Ill-Treatment and Torture (ITT) Country-Year Data


  • A previous version of this paper was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, Montreal, Quebec. Thanks to Aysegul Aydin, Jessica Brandwein, Christian Davenport, Peter Haschke, Madhav Joshi, Emilia Powell, Chris Sullivan, Priyam Trivedi, Carrie Booth Walling, Eric Wiebelhaus-Brahm, and Reed Wood for helpful comments and suggestions on earlier drafts. The ITT project has received support from the US National Science Foundation (Grants #0921397 and #1123666), the Department of Political Science at Florida State University, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame, and the School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts at the University of California, Merced. Additional information on the ITT Project is available at


The Ill-Treatment and Torture (ITT) Data Collection Project uses content analysis to measure allegations of government ill-treatment and torture made by Amnesty International (AI) from 1995 to 2005. ITT's country-year (CY) data quantify AI allegations of ill-treatment and torture at the country-year unit of observation and further across different responsible government agents and across different econo-socio-political groups of alleged victims. This paper introduces the Ill-Treatment and Torture country-year data, describes quantitative patterns likely to be of interest to researchers focused on the study of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and human rights, and suggests a number of theoretically motivated questions that can be explored using the ITT country-year data.