Section 1


Mission & Values



Transforming information into knowledge that advances human flourishing.




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 methodological approaches for analyzing news texts at extreme scales in valid ways. We particularly value innovation that blends methods expertise from the humanities and social sciences with methods 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 understanding of problems affecting human flourishing. Whether we make those discoveries ourselves or equip others to make them, 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 Richard G. and Carole J. Cline Center for Democracy is dedicated to advancing human flourishing around the world by using extreme-scale analysis of global news coverage to extract structured insight out of unstructured information, equip researchers with new tools for transforming that insight into deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of social conflict, and empower decision makers to apply this understanding in ways that promote societal well-being around the world.

The Center's mission encompasses several research activities, including monitoring civil unrest around the world; tracking the over-time development of economic, political, and social indicators for 165 countries; and developing new machine algorithms and analysis tools for studying the tens of millions of articles in the Cline Center's global news archive. The Center's mission also supports a wide range of teaching and public engagement activities, from fellowship programs for faculty and graduate students to undergraduate research opportunities and topical symposia for the University of Illinois campus.