State of Emergency Mapping Project (STEMP) is a project established by Prof. Andrej Zwitter as a collaborative project between the departments of legal philosophy and international relations through the research section Research in Ethics and Globalization (GSG-REG).


It aims to map state of emergency declarations worldwide. The declaration of a state of emergency status is the tool of last resort for democracies to defend its people and itself against threats from inside and outside. It can grant extended powers to the executive, and accelerate decision-making and judicial processes – to some extent at the expense of democratic control and rule of law. Autocracies as well use this tool in a similar fashion. However, their end goal, most often than not, is solely to preserve the autocratic rule without regard for the citizens.


We have compiled a database that contains information on emergency powers de lege and de facto in order to gain a better understanding of the politics of law in different regions of the world. As a first phase, this database has a unique emphasis on the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as it focuses on the reported derogations of the various human rights this treaty contains. In the next phase of the project the database will be expanded to include emergency declarations below the threshold of the ICCPR.


This is an open access database for researchers to study the occurrence, circumstances and backgrounds against which emergencies are being declared and to connect these with the laws governing the declarations as well as providing further literature.




  • STEM has become STEMP (State of Emergency Mapping Project).
  • STEMP Database Phase 2 (1995-2015) online, plus: R-code and Guide to R descriptive statistics and the visualization.
  • Dr. Leonard Fister has joined the STEMP Project as Lead Data Scientist.
  • STEMP is proud to announce the launch of the formal cooperation with the Research Network for Religion and Political Culture at the University of Manchester through the joint GSG-CRPC conference:

State of Emergency Provisions and Their Theological Legacy, 15-17 May 2015 at University of Manchester, UK

  • Database Phase 1 and codebook updated and finalised: the database now contains all official records of emergency declarations registered with the Human Rights Committee from 1998-2013. 17-09-2014
  • STEMP is preparing a collaboration with the Research Network for Religion and Political Culture, directed by Dr. Michael Hoelzl, expert on emergency politics and political theology and translator of Carl Schmitt's Dictatorship (Polity 2013). 24-08-2014

Email us: a.zwitter@rug.nl

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