Area studies and comparative politics: IGOs, NGOs, think tanks, policy writing

As pursued in the United States, area studies and comparative politics traditionally have dealt with the politics of countries and global regions other than the US.

Intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations

Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and private, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) often partner to address social, environmental, economic, technical, and human rights issues.  For research on topics on transnational and international concern, it is often appropriate to search both kinds of entities, using the same search terms.

IGO Custom Search Engine

The IGO Custom Search Engine searches across hundreds of IGO websites, including the United Nations, World Bank, UN Development Program (UNDP), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European Union, the Asian Development Bank, and many others.

NGO Custom Search Engine

Like its IGO counterpart, use the NGO Custom Search Engine search across hundreds of NGO websites worldwide.


These Google Custom Search Engines (CSE) are a project of the International Documents Taskforce (IDTF) of the American Library Association (ALA). For more background on this project, including links to the IGo and NGO lists included in these searches, please see the IDTF wiki.

Think tanks, policy papers, "gray literature"

Professors and other people with advanced academic degrees present their expertise in other settings beside peer-reviewed journals and scholarly books.  They may produce reports and analyses for governments, non-profit organizations, corporations, and all sorts of research institutes; they also distribute research for comment at academic conferences.  While these sources are often created with academic rigor, they commonly do not go through full peer review before publication.  Nonetheless, especially regarding recent events and hot topics in politics and policy, such "gray literature" can be important bridges between journalism and traditional academic publications. 

Preprints, conference proceedings