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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

Country Risk Information

  • A.M. Best Country Risk -- this is a full-service credit rating organization serving the insurance industry that defines country risk as the risk that country-specific factors could adversely affect an insurer's ability to meet its financial obligations. Countries are placed into one of five tiers, ranging from Country Risk Tier 1, denoting a stable environment with the least amount of risk, to Country Risk Tier 5 for countries that pose the most risk and, therefore, the greatest challenge to an insurer's financial stability, strength, and performance.
  • COFACE Country Risk Assessments -- a trade receivables consulting firm that provides country risk data for nearly every country of the world and sectorial risk rating assessment for fourteen sectors. Most of these ratings are brief but they are updated twice per year.
  • DataGov Governance Indicators Database -- a user-friendly database for accessing most of the publicly available indicators related to governance. It contains approximately 400 governance indicators produced by 25 different multilateral organizations, NGOs, private firms, and academic institutions.
  • Economist Intelligence Unit [EIU] Country Reports -- a source of business intelligence on political and economic trends in 200 countries. An overall profile of each country is provided annually and a current report is produced quarterly. Both include current detailed statistics. Excellent resources for obtaining forcasts for future economic and political developments.
  • Euromoney Country Risk -- provides access to survey data for all countries in the survey with breakdowns for economic, political and structural risk scores; sub-factor scores for over fifteen individual risk variables. Requires free registration to access database.
  • Global Conflict Risk Index -- expresses the statistical risk of violent conflict in a given country in the coming 1-4 years. It is exclusively based on quantitative indicators from open sources and grounded in the assumption that the occurrence of conflict is linked to structural conditions. The Index uses 26 variables grouped in six dimensions (social, economic, security, political and geographical/environmental) to build a statistical regression model which computes the probability and intensity of conflict. Produced by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
  • Index of Economic Freedom -- produced by the conservative non-partisan think tank Heritage Foundation, this site provides analysis of 161 countries with data on trade policy, fiscal burden, governmental intervention, monetary policy, foreign investment, banking and finance, wages and prices, property rights, regulation, and black market.
  • ISI Emerging Markets -- Dun & Bradstreet's Country RiskLine Report for developing countries can be accessed through ISI. Once you have logged into ISI, select a country to enter the database. Press the “Home” tab on the left side of the page and, in the “Advanced Search Box,” enter the name of the country and the word “risk” (e.g. “Korea risk”), and check the box to “Search Titles Only.” You should see a list of risk-related reports for your country. Note: ISI does not include Japan, the United States, or countries in Western Europe.
  • Passport/Global Market Information Database -- provides access to market research data, country reports, company profiles, and statistics on countries, consumers, and industries for over 350 markets and 205 countries as well as analyses of global and local consumer markets. To access GMID's "Risk and Vulnerabilities” report, select the “Countries and Consumers” tab at the top of the page. From the dropdown menu, select “Economy, Finance, and  Trade.” On the left side of the page, find “Country Briefing,” and “Select Country,” then press “Go.” Note that not every country will have a report.
  • OECD Economic Outlook (OECD iLibrary) -- includes a general assessment of the economy, a series of short, concise reviews on each member country, some reviews on key non-member economies, a set of thematic chapters focussing on topical economic issues, and a renowned statistical annex. Released in May and November of each year. To locate, click on the link for "BOOKS" and then scroll down the "Annuals and Outlooks" column to "OECD Economic Outlook." Coverage from 1997 to the present.
  • PRS Group International -- these reports can be accessed via LexisNexis Academic on the Easy Search page. In the lower left corner, you will see a box called “Research Countries.” Select your country from the dropdown box and then select “PRS Risk Guide and Service” and a date range and click “Go.” Scan through the results for reports specifically on your country. Note that not every country will have a report.
  • Transparency International -- a nonpartisan global network of more than 90 locally established national chapters focused on fighting corruption in the national arena and promoting transparency in elections, in public administration, in procurement and business. Site includes news and special reports, ongoing surveys on various types of corruption including a global corruption barometer, a bribe payers survey, and a corruption perceptions index.
  • Women, Peace, and Security Index -- ranks 167 countries on women's equality, reveals trends in women's well-being across eleven indicators, and offers sub-national data for China, India and Nigeria. In partnership with the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, researchers draw from recognized international data sources to provide a comprehensive measure of women's well-being and their empowerment in homes, communities, and societies more broadly.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

Additional Help

Additional Help

Information about risk and economic instability analysis can also be obtained from the International Business research guide. For help in assessing country risk from the perspective of business and economics, contact or visit the Business Library and ask to speak with a librarian.