WhoGov Dataset

The largest available dataset on members of government across time and countries

The WhoGov dataset is described in our article: Nyrup, Jacob and Stuart Bramwell. 2020. Who Governs? A New Global Dataset on Members of Cabinets, American Political Science Review, 114(4), 1366-1374. WhoGov won the 2021 Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba award for best dataset in comparative politics.

The dataset enables researchers to take a new approach to studying governing elites in autocracies and democracies. We provide bibliographic information, such as gender and party affiliation, on cabinet members in July every year in the period 1966-2021 in all countries with a population of more than 400,000 citizens. In total, the dataset contains data on 56,063 cabinet members in 177 countries, adding up to 8,811 country-years.

WhoGov makes it possible to answer questions such as; what is the share of female cabinet members globally, which type of regime has the highest cabinet turnover, and have cabinets increased in size over time? And many others. The dataset is highly flexible and can be used to calculate countless variables of interest, including the number of female ministers, ministerial experience, cabinet turnover and cabinet size at the country-year level.

The team is continuously working on updating the data with more years and more variables. We released version 2 of the dataset in July 2022 which covers all countries up to 2021. We are currently working on updating the dataset with data from 2022 and 2023. Furthermore, a team based at the University of Oslo are working on the Paths to Power project which will expand the dataset with variables on social background, education and occupation.

We are hosting a WhoGov workshop on the 29-30th of August 2024 at University of Oslo. You can find information about the call for papers here. The deadline for submissions is the 5th of April 2024.

For enquiries or if you identify any errors, contact: whogov@nuffield.ox.ac.uk.