Skip to Main Content

International Relations *

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

Country Information

Directories and Scholarly Web Sites

  • Africa South of the Sahara--a searchable, comprehensive directory of web resources about countries south of the Sahara. Contents are arranged by country and topic as well.
  • 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.
  • BBC News Country Profiles -- supplies information on the history, economy, and politics of countries and territories as well as maps, facts, and current leaders. Each profile includes links to news items on that country that have appeared on the BBC network.
  • CIA World Factbook -- provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.
  • Countries and Their Cultures, World Cultures Encyclopedia -- provides succinct essays about the cultures and sub-cultures of individual countries and regions of the world. Helpful in understanding the internal cultural dynamics of a country. Essays include a bibliography of sources.
  • Country Studies/Area Handbook Series -- presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of over 91 countries throughout the world. The series examines the inter-relationships of those systems and the ways they are shaped by cultural factors.
  • EurasiaNet -- provides information and analysis about political, economic, environmental and social developments in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, as well as in Russia, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. The web site also offers additional features, including newsmaker interviews and book reviews.
  • Global Edge Country Profiles -- source for statistical data for nearly every country around the world. In addition to statistics, the database includes summary information on historical, economic, and political conditions and risk assessment.
  • Human Development Reports -- site contains country-level data available for review and download from the United Nation's  annual Human Development Report.
  • List of Foreign Governments -- an alphabetical directory of links to the official websites of national government agencies provided by the Northwestern University Libraries.
  • World Economic Forum Global Risk Reports -- a comprehensive series of reports which examine in detail the broad range of global issues related to economic imbalances and social inequality risk.
  • Worldwide Governments on the WWW -- one of the most extensive lists of international, national, regional, and local governmental and government-related Web servers. It covers governmental institutions on the Web, including parliaments, ministries, offices, law courts, embassies, city councils, public broadcasting corporations, central banks, multinational organizations, and political parties. Arranged in a hierarchical index organized by continent, country, and smaller divisions with thematic groupings such as heads of states, parliaments, political parties, elections, and currency.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

Research Databases

Country Studies Research Databases

  • Economist Intelligence Unit [EIU] Country Reports -- a source of business intelligence on political and economic trends in 180 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 forecasts for future economic and political developments.
  • Economist Intelligence Unit [EIU] Country Reports Archive -- presents the historical reports from 1952 to 1995, with all data from the statistical tables fully captured and downloadable in spreadsheet form, providing an archive of analysis and explanation of political, economic and commercial developments, together with historical statistical data covering almost 200 countries. Each report presents detailed statistics alongside expert commentary and forecasting from the EIU’s analysts.
  • HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated -- this database includes the current constitution for every country in its original language format and an English translation, as well as substantial constitutional histories for most countries. It also includes periodicals, full-text books, bibliographic references and links to scholarly articles and online resources. Access by clicking on link in left-hand column.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

Department of State Country Reports

U.S. Department of State Country Reports

  • Human Rights Practices – annual reports to Congress on the status of internationally recognized human rights practices per country. Online archive from 1999-present.
  • Religious Freedom – describes the status of religious freedom in each foreign country, government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations, and individuals, and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world. Online archive from 1999-present.
  • Terrorism – reports on where terrorist acts have occurred, state sponsorship of terrorism and assessments of terrorist groups. Online archive from 1995-present.
  • Trafficking of Persons – an annually updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it. Online archive from 2001-present.