Who governs? A new global dataset on members of cabinets

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Who governs? This is one of the most fundamental questions in political science. Despite its importance, there is currently no global dataset on governing elites over a long period. This article presents a novel dataset, WhoGov, which contains yearly data on members of cabinets in 177 countries during the period 1966-2016, making it the largest of its kind. We first present how the dataset was created and validate it by matching this data against existing data. We then demonstrate how the data can be used to gain new insights into diverse fields such as the study of autocracies, gender studies, the study of regime types and government formation. We expect that this dataset will be an invaluable resource for both comparativists and country experts.