Event history analysis—some people call it “duration analysis” or “survival analysis”—
is a class of statistical methods that is becoming increasingly popular in the social sciences. In many situations in the social sciences, we are interested in analyzing the occurrence and timing of events. Some dictatorships are terminated more quickly than others. Some government coalitions or international agreements collapse sooner than others. Similarly some treaty negotiations and conflicts last longer than others. Some countries adopt new regulations much before other countries. In these political processes, we are often interested in identifying whether and to what extent various political economic factors determine the timing of events. The simplest way to analyze such a relationship is to look at correlations between the duration of a certain political state (e.g. a regime being authoritarian) and a number of structural factors that are suspected to determine the duration (e.g. the level of economic development).