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International Relations *

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

Intelligence and International Security Research Resources

Below are links to databases and electronic resources that support the study of intelligence and international security and related areas of research.


Databases that offer multidisciplinary coverage of intelligence and counterespionage literature from scholarly and non-scholarly sources.

  • Credo Reference -- comprehensive collection of highly-specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks across all subject areas. Good place to go for succinct definitions, explanations, and analysis of concepts, theories, or topics.
  • Google Scholar -- the scholarly part of the Google empire. To set up Google Scholar with access to full-text journals and databases, go here.
  • JSTOR -- a multidisciplinary archive of scholarly journal articles covering most major disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Useful for identifying historical research on a topic.
  • Policy Commons -- platform for objective, fact-based research from the world’s leading policy experts, nonpartisan think tanks, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The database provides advanced searching across millions of pages of books, articles, working papers, reports, policy briefs, data sets, tables, charts, media, case studies, and statistical publications, including archived reports from more than 200 defunct think tanks. Coverage is international in scope.
  • ProQuest Multiple -- comprehensive, multidisciplinary database of newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles updated daily. Content is more focused and manageable in locating relevant research than Google Scholar.


Key Databases

  • Columbia International Affairs Online [CIAO] -- provides the full text of a wide range of scholarship books, working papers from universities and research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, and proceedings from conferences.
  • Homeland Security Digital Library -- provides access to documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management collected from federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies, professional organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and international governing bodies.
  • Military and Intelligence Database Collection -- provides access to scholarly journals, magazines, and reports covering all aspects of the past and current state of military affairs. The database offers content in key subject areas including governmental policies, the socioeconomic effects of war, the structure of the armed forces, and more.
  • Public Affairs Information Services [PAIS] -- indexes selective subjects and bibliographic access to periodicals, books, hearings, reports, gray literature, government publications, Internet resources, and other publications from 120 countries. Includes historical coverage from 1915 to the present.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts -- provides indexing of the international journal literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration and policy. Over 1,700 titles are monitored for coverage and, of these, 67% are published outside of the United States.

Related Research Resources

  • AccessUN -- indexes the majority of United Nations documents and publications. Articles appearing in UN periodicals are individually indexed as well as bilateral and multilateral treaties in the UN Treaty Series.
  • America: History and Life -- database that covers the history of the United States and Canada. It includes key English-language historic journals, selected historic journals from major countries, state and local history journals, and selected relevant journals in the social sciences and humanities.
  • Communication Source -- a comprehensive source of communication-related journal articles, research reports, working papers, and books. Includes not only communication literature but also literature in other disciplines that is relevant to communication researchers. Search this to find studies that investigate the role mass and digital media plays in intelligence and counterespionage.
  • Criminal Justice Database -- a comprehensive database supporting research on crime, its causes and impacts, legal and social implications, as well as litigation and crime trends. In addition to scholarly journals, it includes correctional and law enforcement trade publications, crime reports, and other material relevant for researchers or those preparing for careers in criminal justice.
  • HeinOnline Law Journal Library -- full text access to digitized content of major legal periodicals, the Federal Register, and other law-related materials. Good source for identifying scholarly articles concerning the legal aspects of intelligence gathering and surveillance.
  • Historical Abstracts -- this database includes key history journals from major countries, as well as relevant selected journals from the social sciences and humanities. Covers world history outside of the United States and Canada. All article summaries [i.e., abstracts] are in English.
  • MetaLib -- cross-searches multiple U.S. government databases. Advanced and expert searching feature includes the option to limit research results by selecting "Defense + Military" resources.
  • PsycINFO -- database with more than three million records devoted to peer-reviewed literature of journal articles, chapters, books, dissertations, and research reports in psychology and the behavioral sciences. Useful for finding research that looks at the affective and personal aspects of intelligence gathering and espionage, including the use of torture or other techniques of information gathering.
  • RAND Corporation Published Research -- provides access to RAND publications, most of which are available as free eBook downloads, dating back to 1946. Words or phrases can be entered in the search box or items can be filtered by topic, such as, cybersecurity or intelligence analysis.
Digital Archives
  • Digital National Security Archive -- contains the full-text of declassified government documents categorized into over 40 collections, detailing U.S. foreign relations, world events and policy decisions from post-World War II through the 21st century. Collections include: glossaries, chronologies, bibliographies, overviews, and photographs. A complete list of collections can be found here.
  • Documents on British Policies Overseas -- a historical database which contains thousands of government documents relating to Britain's international relations, including foreign policy instructions, letters and memos, business reports, and more. These primary source materials have been selected by the official historians of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and, in many cases, have been declassified for inclusion in this series. Coverage includes over 50,000 documents from 1898-1990s.
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Services Daily Reports -- archive of translations and transcripts from the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), the mission of which was to monitor, record, transcribe, and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories, with many providing first-hand accounts of events as they occurred.
  • Homeland Security Digital Archive -- composed of homeland security documents related to security policy, strategy, and organizational management collected from a wide variety of sources, including federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies, professional organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and international governing bodies.
  • ProQuest History Vault Collections
    • Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, Asia, 1960-1969 -- countries covered in this module include China, Far East (general), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Philippine Republic, and Vietnam and include, for example, documents on the tensions between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China and the U.S.'s Two China’s policy; the activities of Japanese political parties and issues pertaining to the Japanese Self Defense Force; State Department records on Vietnam; and records on on the political instability in Laos.
    • Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, 1960-1969, Europe and Latin America -- this collection contains a wide range of primary source materials from U.S. diplomats in foreign countries: special reports on political and military affairs; studies and statistics on socioeconomic matters; interviews and minutes of meetings with foreign government officials; court proceedings and other legal documents; letters, instructions and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel; reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers; and translations of high-level foreign government documents.
    • Office of Strategic Services and State Department Intelligence and Research Reports, 1941-1961 -- contains 3,500 World War II and Cold War era classified reports about Asia, Europe, the Soviet Union, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa commissioned by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the U.S. State Department and written by the days’ leading scholars. At the time, the reports helped to shape U.S. foreign policy decisions. Topics include the German war effort, occupation and division of Germany, reconstruction of Europe under the Marshall Plan, Soviet control of Eastern Europe, Palestine, African nationalism, Communist movements in South America and U.S. intervention in Central America.
    • U.S. Diplomatic Post Records, 1914-1945 -- consists of correspondence and reports from American diplomats stationed in Japan; Cuba; El Salvador; Honduras; Nicaragua; Iran; Iraq; Beirut; Jerusalem; Aden; Lebanon; Russia and the Soviet Union.Diplomatic post records are those kept at the embassies or legations contain incoming messages from Washington, outgoing dispatches, locally gathered information, and background material on decision-making.
    • U.S. Military Intelligence Reports, 1911-1944 -- contains Intelligence Reports for China, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Mexico, and the Soviet Union, as well as Biweekly Intelligence Summaries for 1928-1938 and Combat Estimates for Europe and the Western Hemisphere. U.S. military reports on not just intelligence, but covers a wide range of topics, including the internal politics, social and economic conditions, and foreign affairs of the countries in which military attaches were stationed.
    • Vietnam War and American Foreign Policy, 1960-1975 -- covers U.S. involvement in the region from the early days of the Kennedy administration, through the escalation of the war during the Johnson administration, to the final resolution of the war at the Paris Peace Talks and the evacuation of U.S. troops in 1973.
    • World War I: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Diplomacy in the World War I Era, 1915-1927 -- offers extensive documentation on the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I as well as materials on U.S. intelligence operations and the post-war peace process. AEF documents consist of correspondence, cablegrams, operations reports, statistical strength reports and summaries of intelligence detailing troop movements and operations of Allied and enemy forces.
    • World War II Digital Archive -- includes records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the War Department Operations Division, U.S. Navy Action and Operational Reports, President Franklin D. Roosevelt'€™s Map Room Files, Records of the Office of War Information, Papers of the War Refugee Board, and several other collections documenting U.S. planning and participation in World War II.
  • U.S. Declassified Documents Online -- provides access to a broad range of previously classified federal records spanning the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The collection brings together the most sensitive documents from all the presidential libraries and numerous executive agencies in a single, easily searchable database. It contains the most comprehensive compilation of declassified documents from the executive branch. The types of materials include intelligence studies, policy papers, diplomatic correspondence, cabinet meeting minutes, briefing materials, and domestic surveillance and military reports.
  • U.S. Intelligence on Europe, 1945-1995 -- this collection of over 4,000 formerly classified U.S. government documents provides a comprehensive survey of the U.S. intelligence community’s activities in Europe, including Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus, covering the time period from the end of World War II to the fall of the Iron Curtain and beyond.



Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.