Multilateral Treaty-Making

Examining Multilateral Treaty-Making with the Multilateral Agreements and Treaties Record Set (MATRS)

This is a collaborative project with Robert Denemark from the University of Delaware.  We have compiled a database of over 7000 multilateral treaties (agreements signed by 3 or more sovereign states) and have begun to analyze the history and evolution of the multilateral treaty system and its implications for questions of global order and politics.

The first publication to emerge from this project is “Not Just Scraps of Paper: The Dynamics of Multilateral Treaty-Making” Cooperation and Conflict 43 (2): 185-219. PDF:  Denemark and Hoffmann

We have benefitted from the research assistance of numerous students on this project, including: Hasan Yonten, April Collins, Charlotte Freeman, Tom Isherwood, Markus Lang, Lauren Twist, Stephen Wall, Christopher Anderson, Michael Beaver, Jessica Boesl, Nicola Brooks, Margot Campbell, and Jon Wilson

In addition, the MATRS team is collaborating with other scholars to expand the scope of the analysis of multilateral treaty-making.  We currently have ongoing projects with Herman van der Wusten of the Department of Geography at the University of Amsterdam and Kendall Stiles of the Political Science Department at Brigham Young University.


Working Papers

1. Dominance and Diplomacy (Robert Denemark, Matthew Hoffmann, Lauren Twist, Hasan Yonten)– An examination of the effects of hegemonic cylces on the multilateral treaty system

2. It’s the Relationships! (Matthew Hoffmann, Robert Denemark) — A preliminary network analysis of multilateral treaty-making over time

3. The Map of Multilateral Treaty-Making 1600-2000 (Herman Van der Wusten, Robert Denemark, Matthew Hoffmann, Hasan Yonten) — An examination of the political geography of multilateral treaty-making

4. Diplomacy and Religion: The Practice and Distribution of Early Cross-Faith Treaties (Robert Denemark, Matthew Hoffmann, Hasan Yonten,Christopher Anderson, Michael Beaver, Jessica Boesl, Nicola Brooks, Margot Campbell, and Jon Wilson) — An examination of how religious affiliation correlates with treaty-making practice in the early modern period.


Data Inquiries

For questions about the project or inquires about the MATRS data, please contact Matthew Hoffmann

mjhoff at



  1. Dear Matthew
    This is terrific ! Good luck, yours, Denise

  2. […] dataset of all known military alliance treaties formed between 1815 and the present.  The Multilateral Agreement and Treaty Record Set (MARTS), developed by Denemark and Hoffman, includes 6976 multilateral treaties signed between 1595 and […]

  3. สวยมาก…likeLikeLike

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