Slides and Materials Online Link to heading

The slides and materials for the UNSC launch event are now available on Zenodo!

The presentation was delivered online on 20 May 2024 during the launch event for the Corpus of Resolution: UN Security Council (CR-UNSC), organized by the Interest Group on International Organizations (IG-IO) of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) and chaired by Professor Christiane Ahlborn (Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract Link to heading

The Corpus of Resolution: UN Security Council (CR-UNSC) collects and presents for the first time in human and machine-readable form all resolutions, drafts, and meeting records of the UN Security Council, including detailed metadata, as published by the UN Digital Library and revised by the authors.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the most influential of the principal UN organs. Composed of five permanent and ten non-permanent members, its functioning is constrained by the political context in which it operates. During the Cold War, the complex political relationships between the permanent members and their veto powers significantly affected the capacity of the UNSC to address violations of international peace and security, with only 646 resolutions passed from 1946 to 1989. Since the 1990s, the activity of the UN Security Council has increased dramatically and produced 2721 resolutions up to the end of 2023.

In this presentation I provide an overview of the main dataset and its specialized variants, a bibliographic database and the UNSC citation network. I discuss the uses of the UNSC corpus for both traditional and quantitative legal research, including a breakdown of the variable groupings and OCR quality. A special emphasis is placed on the citation data. The slides include many visual representations to provide a quick understanding of the dataset.

Live Demo: Keyword Search Link to heading

The event included a live demo of keyword searches (with context lines) via grep, a well-known command line utility. Grep is included with all Linux systems and can be installed on Windows and Mac. Variants of grep with a graphical user interface (GUI) are available. Free grep GUI tools are AstroGrep and dnGrep.

The Zenodo record includes results from keyword searches suggested by the audience during the launch event. Results are given as a) simple text file with relevant lines extracted and b) HTML files with keywords colored and one context line above/below the relevant line.

Also included is a Bash script to replicate these findings. Instructions:

  1. Download the Bash script from Zenodo
  2. Download the TXT files for Version 2024-05-19
  3. Ensure that the Bash script and a folder containing the TXT files named “CR-UNSC_2024-05-19_EN_TXT_BEST” are in the same location
  4. Open a terminal in this folder and run “bash”
  5. All result files should now be in the same folder

Live Demo: Network Analysis Link to heading

Following the keyword search demo I also demonstrated network analysis with Gephi. Gephi is free and open source software with a graphical user interface for interactive network analysis. The GraphML file of the UNSC dataset can easily be imported into Gephi by simply opening it.

The Zenodo record also includes the Gephi project shown during the live demo, with some configuration already set.

For ideas on how to explore the network data I recommend reading through the Gephi manual. Gephi is the easiest way to explore the UNSC citation network data without code.