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International Relations *: Search Engines and Web Directories

A guide to databases and scholarly web sites in support of research in international relations and comparative politics.

Search Engines

Listed below are specialized databases of information relevant to doing research in the field of international relations.

  • Ambassadorial Appointments Tracker -- created by the American Foreign Service Association, this database monitors appointments of ambassadors and senior positions with links to their biographies if available. Data on appointments can be found back to the Gerald Ford administration.
  • Armed Conflict Database -- a system that monitors armed conflicts worldwide, focusing on political, military and humanitarian trends in current conflicts, whether they are local rebellions, long-term insurgencies, civil wars, or inter-state conflicts, and whether they are active, subject to a cease fire, or halted by a peace accord. Comprehensive historical background for each conflict is included along with weekly timelines and the monthly updates. The compilation of statistics and reports, which includes the status of conflicts, fatalities, and refugees, date back to 1997. To access the contents, users must create an account giving you the ability to generate reports and download data as well as browse year-by-year analyzes and fact sheets.

  • Border and Migration Studies Online -- a digital research collection that explores and provides historical background on more than thirty key worldwide border areas, including: U.S. and Mexico; the European Union; Afghanistan; Israel; Turkey; The Congo; Argentina; China; Thailand; and others.

  • Constitution Finder -- searchable database that links to constitutions available on line and indicates whether they are in English or the original language.

  • Disaster Lit: Database for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, a clearinghouse of open access guidelines, research reports, conference proceedings, training classes, fact sheets, websites, and similar materials related to the medical and public health aspects of planning, mitigation, response, recovery, and research related to disasters and public health emergencies.

  • Electronic Information System for International Law -- a database for searching primary materials, authoritative web sites, and helpful research guides to international law on the Internet. Comprehensive and updated frequently.

  • Europa: Gateway to the European Union -- provides up-to-date coverage of European Union affairs and essential information on European integration. Users can consult all legislation currently in force or under discussion, access the websites of each of the EU institutions, and find out about the policies administered by the European Union under the powers devolved to it by the Treaties.
  • Foreign Affairs Online -- this web site directory has been specifically designed to assist students and researchers interested in international relations, international law, and U.S. foreign policy. It has an extensive group of links to general reference, map, and media resources, U.S. and foreign government websites, and websites related to human rights and international organizations. An excellent place to begin your search for scholarly resources on the Internet.
  • Global Conflict Tracker -- an interactive guide to ongoing conflicts around the world of concern to the United States. The map displays nearly thirty conflicts with background information and resources on each conflict.
  • Global Terrorism Database -- an open-source database providing information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2013, with additional annual updates. The database includes systematic data on domestic as well as transnational and international terrorist incidents that have occurred; it now includes more than 125,000 cases. For each incident, information is available on the date and location of the incident, the weapons used and nature of the target, the number of casualties, and, when identifiable, the group or individual responsible.
  • Human Security Gateway -- a research and information database regrouping electronic and bibliographic resources on human security.
  • National Defense University, Digital Collections–an online gateway to a diverse and growing variety of electronic collections and items produced or acquired by the NDU Library in support of the university's teaching, research, repository and outreach missions. The resources include items in print (including .doc, pdf, and html), image, audio and video formats.
  • OECDiLibrary -- this is the full-text publications portal of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As well as collecting comparable statistics and economic and social data, OECD monitors trends, analyzes and forecasts economic developments and researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more.
  • UNBISNET -- catalog of the United Nations publications and documents held at the UN Dag Hammarskjold Library and the UN Library at Geneva.  Also included are commercial publications and other non-UN sources held at the Dag Hammarskjold Library. The coverage is from 1979 to the present but older documents are being added on a regular basis.
  • Uppsala Conflict Data Program -- the Program collects information on a large number of aspects of armed violence since 1946, including maintaining a continuously updated online database on armed conflicts and organized violence, in which several aspects of armed conflict, such as, conflict dynamics, conflict resolution, peace agreements, and several other aspects of organized violence are available. Coverage is global with information from 1946 to the present.
  • War and Terrorism Collection -- a database that provides access to academic journals and magazines of interest to analysts, risk management professionals, and students of military science, history, and social science. The database offers balanced coverage of both historic and contemporary topics in the fields of war and terrorism.
  • WatchingAmerica -- reflects global opinion about the United States by providing translated news and views about the United States published in other countries. Archives of translated opinion and news postings are available from 2005.
  • Women in Politics Bibliographic Database -- provides access to books and articles produced throughout the world on the subject of women in politics. The database covers titles representing international, regional, country-by-country as well as thematic perspectives. Site also includes a lists of useful links on this subject.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

Directories and Resource Guides

Listed below are directories and guides to information relevant to conducting research in international relations.

  • A - Z Maps Online -- a collection of world, continent, country, and state maps, including political maps.
  • Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project -- ACLED publishes regular analyzes and reports on key countries, dynamics and patterns of political violence and protest in Africa in contemporary and historical perspective. Publications are intended to inform academic, policy and practitioner work in key countries, regions and sectors in conflict analysis, peace-building and armed violence reduction.
  • Directory of Development Organizations -- a comprehensive, up-to-date directory currently listing listing 53,750 development organizations divided into six geographical sections and arranged within the following nine categories: (1) international organizations; (2) government institutions; (3) private sector support organizations (including fair trade); (4) finance institutions; (5) training and research centers; (6) civil society organizations; (7) development consulting firms (including references to job opportunities and vacancy announcements); (8) information providers (development newsletters/journals); and, (9) grantmakers.
  • Eldis -- an online information service providing free access to a variety of diverse and pertinent research on international development issues, policies, and practice. The database includes over 40,000 summaries and provides free links to full-text research and policy documents from over 8,000 publishers.
  • Embassy World -- a comprehensive list of contact resources for all of the world's diplomatic offices.
  • Forced Migration Online -- provides online access to a diverse range of resources refugees and forced migration worldwide. Site includes a Digital Library with access to several thousand full-text and open-access documents, many of which are unpublished, an archived collection of in-depth guides on specific themes and locations, videos and podcasts, a searchable collection of photographs relating to forced migration, and a directory of to key organizations in the forced migration field.
  • Global Voices -- an international, volunteer-led project that collects, summarizes, and gives context to some of the best self-published content found on blogs, podcasts, photo sharing sites, and video blogs from around the world, with an emphasis on countries outside of Europe and North America.
  • International Relations and Security Network -- provides a wide range of comprehensive, balanced, and timely publications and resources to encourage the exchange of information among international relations and security professionals throughout the world who are working in think tanks, universities, governmental agencies, NGOs, and within the private sector.
  • Nettizen -- a database of newspapers published throughout the world. Note: site includes advertising.
  • RadioStationWorld -- a worldwide directory of local radio stations on the web, radio station that offer streaming webcast services, and in depth listings of local radio broadcast.
  • WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources -- an open access directory to more than 2,000 carefully selected, annotated links in 34 international affairs categories, including thousands of library, university, governmental, military, NGO, and IGO websites. Intended for use by college students, the site also includes starter tips for research.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.