Measuring American Diplomacy

Despite the importance of diplomacy, both for national foreign policy and international relations more broadly, very little systematic data on diplomatic activity has been collected. This problem is especially acute within the U.S. State Department; while home to one of the world’s largest and most influential diplomatic corps, the State Department collects very little information on its diplomats’ activities. As a result, neither scholars nor policymakers can easily analyze the efficacy of diplomatic efforts, precluding the adoption of an evidence-based U.S. foreign policy.

The goal of the Measuring American Diplomacy (MAD) project is to begin correcting the diplomatic data deficit through collecting, cleaning, and publishing comprehensive datasets related to U.S. diplomatic activity. To do so, we draw on sources including recently-digitized government documents, archived versions of government websites, reports issued by non-governmental organizations, and oral history interviews. On this website, you can find descriptions of our past and ongoing projects, as well as view associated publications; data is available to download for completed projects.

The Measuring American Diplomacy project is led by Matt Malis and Calvin Thrall.