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IR 210, International Relations: Introductory Analysis: Question #1

This course guide provides guidance on how to complete Analytical Exercise #1 in Dr. Lamy's IR 210 class.

Question 1:

Find academic research articles in well-known-used regularly by IR scholars-academic journals that focus on the following topics:

  • Refugees in Europe
  • The current great power conflicts
  • Responsibility to Protect [R2P]
  • The role of narratives in foreign policy formulation
  • Trade wars and increasing economic nationalism

Intended Learning Outcomes

Academic [a.k.a., scholarly or peer-reviewed] journal articles are an important means of disseminating research within the field of international relations. The purpose of this question is to help you understand how to locate information in academic journals about specific research problems in international affairs. Scholarly journal articles, along with books, government and international agency documents, and reports from research centers and think tanks, will form the basis of your review and critical evaluation of existing literature about topics being investigated for papers assigned in this and future IR courses.

Research Approach

Go to the main page of the USC Libraries and click on the "Research Guides" link below the search box. Scroll down to the Political Science & International Relations drop-down menu and click on the guide for International Relations. Once in the guide, click on the tab  for "Finding Articles in Databases."

When you click on the tab "Finding Articles in Databases," it will reveal multiple text boxes with descriptions and links to various databases. There are three key databases located in the upper left-hand text box that provide substantial access to journal articles. Each of these databases provide, along with other sources, access to the most commonly cited journals in the field of international relations. They are:

  • IREON [International Relations and Area Studies Gateway]
  • Public Affairs Information Services [PAIS]
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts

HINT:  When searching these databases, click on the advanced search option to reveal multiple search boxes. Enter keywords from the suggested topics--not the entire phrase--in each search box [e.g., "Europe" in one box, "refugees" in the second]. Also, pay attention to the source because not everything in these databases is an article from a journal.

ANOTHER HINT:  How do I know if a journal is scholarly? Go here to learn the differences among different types of sources: Scholarly vs. Popular

YET ANOTHER HINT: Journals are ranked in regards to their significance by what is called an impact factor. Information about this can be found here