Section 1




The Cline Center for Advanced Social Research works to equip and empower social scientists, humanists, and data scientists to address 21st century challenges that threaten human flourishing - climate change, civil unrest, sustainability, inequality, and public health, to name a few - using advanced computational techniques at extreme scales. By connecting data science and engineering expertise with social science and humanities subject matter knowledge, the Cline Center enables researchers to discover patterns hidden in massive amounts of unstructured data. In addition to developing new algorithms and analytical tools for studying the millions articles in the Cline Center Global News Archive, Cline Center research initiatives include monitoring civil unrest and conflict processes worldwide, and tracking economic, political, and social indicators in more than 150 countries over several decades. The Cline Center also supports a wide range of teaching and public engagement activities, ranging from fellowship programs for faculty and graduate students to undergraduate research opportunities and topical symposia.



Transforming information into knowledge that advances human flourishing.


Who We Serve

  • Students at both undergraduate and graduate levels, in both STEM and non-STEM fields, who want practical experience in data science-driven research with real-world impact.
  • Researchers in the data sciences, social sciences, and humanities who want to discover new ways of extracting structured knowledge from unstructured information or can benefit from data science-based approaches to understanding social and political problems.
  • Difference-makers in the public and private sectors who work to remove obstacles to societal well-being.
  • Organizations in the public and private sectors interested in developing and applying cutting-edge technologies with the potential to advance the Cline Center’s research capabilities.




Because understanding complex social problems requires drawing from diverse methods, theories, and perspectives, we value team-based interdisciplinary research that brings data scientists into conversation with social scientists and digital humanists. We also value partnering with other organizations to pursue common goals.


We value developing next-generation data, tools, and methods for the social sciences and digital humanities, applying high-tech solutions to long-term problems addressed by scholars in the social sciences and humanities, and creating new valid approaches for analyzing news texts at extreme scales. We particularly value innovation that blends domain expertise from the humanities and social sciences with methodological expertise from the data sciences.


Because validity, replication, and falsifiability are necessary for scientific progress, we value transparency in methods, measures, and quality criteria.


We value getting it right by persevering in adverse circumstances and maintaining integrity in all aspects of the research process. Because getting it right often requires making and learning from mistakes, we value undertaking research in a culture that privileges listening, dialogue, reflection, open-mindedness, and questioning assumptions.


We value making discoveries that advance our understanding of problems affecting human flourishing. We especially value creating opportunities for student researchers to make these discoveries. We want our data and tools to generate new insights, knowledge, and understanding with potential to improve the well-being of people around the world.



The Cline Center was inaugurated in 2004 as the Center for the Study of Democratic Governance. In 2007, we moved to our current Research Park location and became the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research. This new name reflected both the generosity of Carole and Richard G. Cline's founding endowment and a growing agenda of research and public engagement activities focused on understanding the institutions and practices that enhance democratic governance around the world.

The Cline Center was founded to shed light on the causes and consequences of political upheaval around the world by addressing two important gaps in available knowledge: there were few valid quantitative measures that could chart the course of nations along the path to - or away from - democratic rule, and there was no reliable way to track the occurrence of small-scale acts of civil unrest that often lead to large-scale political instability. Some of the early fruit from this founding focus included widely-used datasets on democratic and autocratic regimes, as well as a project on constitutional development that eventually became the independent non-profit Comparative Constitutions Project.

Eventually, the Center's faculty and staff came to realize that understanding the history and future prospects of democratic governance required developing entirely new data streams for documenting complex process of social, economic, demographic, and political change. That task, in turn, moved us into the world of extreme-scale data analysis.

By 2008, the Cline Center was on its way to becoming a leader in computational research in the social sciences and humanities, specializing in application of data science methods to unstructured textual data. At the heart of the Cline Center's research activities is a unique text-minable Global News Archive that contains millions of news stories published over hundreds of years by news organizations from almost every country on earth. Our holdings also grow rapidly as we archive online news coverage from around the world nearly as fast as it is published. To analyze these data, we have developed specialized software to identify and analyze billions of people, places, events, and organizations mentioned in global news coverage. These tools and data enable new forms of scholarly inquiry that not only push the boundaries of academic research, but can inform decision-making that may make the world a better place.

In 2017, the Cline Center changed its name to Cline Center for Advanced Social Research to clarify its role in bridging the gaps between social science, humanities, and STEM disciplines and to better engage a diverse range of people and organizations. By extracting new forms of structured data from unstructured text and building innovative software for analyzing textual data at extreme scales, the Cline Center equips researchers with new tools for transforming insight into deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of social conflict. We also empower decision-makers around the world to apply this understanding in ways that promote societal well-being. As we have since our founding, the Cline Center continues to foster transformative social research that can improve the welfare of people worldwide.