International relations & security: Essentials: start here
What's on this page
This guide focuses on principal research resources in a subfield of political science. It is supplements the main subject guide for political science and international studies. The Other political science research guides tab is a menu that connects you to related research guides for the major subfields of the discipline and for related programs in the VT School of Public & International Affairs.
Resources listed on this page are clustered into Key databases for accessing scholarly literature; Background information sources; Contact information for the subject librarian; and access to Additional information.
Parts of this guide are also available in related subject guides:Social data sources, News/journalism/streaming media, and Advice for searching/citing/engaging with related scholarly literatures.
Always start here to locate PSCI/IS research literature
- Worldwide Political Science Abstracts from ProQuestWorldwide Political Science Abstracts indexes citations and abstracts from journal articles, books, essays, book reviews, working papers, technical reports, theses, and dissertations in the social sciences related to politics. You can limit to peer-reviewed sources. 1975-present.
- Security Studies from JSTORSecurity Studies is a topical collection that “looks at security studies through a broad lens, encompassing research on international security and peace and conflict studies from all corners of the globe “ It includes content drawn from journals and ebooks already in JSTOR and adds research reports and periodicals added specifically for this collection. Browseable by topic and searchable (including image searching).
Bookmark this link. JSTOR's topical collections like this can be difficult to find in the regular JSTOR interface.
- Homeland Security Digital LibraryHSDL is a collection of documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and disaster management from a wide variety of sources. These include documents from federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies, professional organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, and international governing bodies. 1941-present. HSDL is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Create an individual account with your VT email address if you wish to access additional HSDL researcher content.
- Essays in HSDL's On the Homefront blog and
- Greta's Gouge weekly current-awareness posting of papers and articles pertaining to conflict, national security, and defense; arranged by source. Compiled by Greta Marlatt, HSDL content manager at US Naval Postgraduate School.
- Institute for National Strategic Studies Policy briefs, cases, journals, books in PDF, and more from INSS at the US National Defense University. In the landing page, the link to archived content is at the bottom of the left sidebar. Aside from institute journals, most INSS content has been invisible to VT Discovery Search.
- CSI Publications (Central Intelligence Agency) Links to full-text books, monographs, and other materials from the Center for the Study of Intelligence. Includes full-text access to the serial publication, Studies in Intelligence.
- CIA Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room View documents released through the FOIA and other CIA release programs, including many National Intelligence Estimates, topical collections, and one-off documents. Includes subcollection of "historically significant Agency documents."
- Digital National Security Archive from ProQuest The Digital National Security Archive provides primary documents on U.S. foreign and military policy since 1945. Subsets include the CIA Family Jewels Indexed information which reveals the CIA's most closely held secrets about their domestic intelligence activities they considered outside its charter, conducted at the height of the Cold War through 1973, and the Cuban Missile Crisis: 50th Anniversary Update which includes unpublished records from U.S. and Soviet archives.
- HeinOnline The HeinOnline portal offers a large and wide-ranging collection of contemporary and historical legal materials, mainly from the US, including constitutions; statutes and legislative histories, treaties, judicial opinions, regulations and other administrative law, and topical collections of historical law/policy documents. Hein's collections of secondary sources (law reviews and books) address wider bodies of law and more countries than the primary-sources Tech subscribes to.
- Foreign Relations of the United States, 1861- Perhaps the most important collection of official primary sources to consult before beginning research on the history of US international relations, the Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the documentary historical record of major US foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. Prepared and issued by the Department of State since 1861, "FRUS" is the official compilation of selected documents from the files of the Department of State, the White House, and other agencies. It presents a historical view of American foreign policy and now comprises hundreds of individual volumes. FRUS for 1861-1960 has also been digitized by the University of Wisconsin. The official, State Department version's full-text coverage online is fairly complete through the Carter administration but spotty from the 1980s and later. Electronic documents not yet included in FRUS might be found at their originating agency or in compilations of presidential documents. See Status of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series (State Department) and Researching U.S. Foreign Policy: Publications and Web Sites (National Archives and Records Administration).
- Military Legal Resources The US Army Judge Advocate General's Legal Center & School Library in Charlottesville holds extensive collections of primary source materials and publications in the field of military law. Hein's collection replaces the Military Legal Resources collection previously hosted by the Library of Congress.
- Jane's Air & Space Module JANES Air & Space Module provides complete data for air and space platforms, systems and subsystems under development, in production and in service with air forces around the world. It enhances information from JANES’ popular World of Aircraft references with open-source security-related news and analyses from government agencies and leading military manufacturers around the world.Access requires logging in with your full VT email address.
Background: verviews and reference works in international relations
- Oxford Research Encyclopedias : International StudiesThis project is the latest collaboration between Oxford University Press and the International Studies Association. It brings newly commissioned articles together with existing and revised articles from the ISA's International Studies Encyclopedia (2017) to form a leading-edge, continuously updated digital resource.
- Global Issues in Context from GaleGlobal Issues in Context provides international viewpoints on a broad spectrum of global issues, topics, and current events. Featured are hundreds of continuously updated issue and country portals that bring together a variety of specially selected, highly relevant sources for analysis of social, political, military, economic, environmental, health, and cultural issues. Each of these gateway pages includes an overview, unique "perspectives" articles written by local experts, reference, periodical, primary source and statistical information.
- Gale Ebooks Gale Ebooks is a collection of searchable ebook reference works. You can search within a particular work or across the entire collection. Individual articles from these sources are presented in HTML and PDF. Illustrations, photos, maps, and multimedia content is often included.
- Sage Knowledge: Politics & International Relations Reference ebooks from major publisher of research works and textbooks in social sciences. Expandable menu directs you to works in most major subfields of the discipline.
- SAGE Research Methods Online SAGE Research Methods indexes full-text books, reference sources, the "little green book" series (Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences), the "little blue book" series (Qualitative Research Methods), journal articles, and videos. Since this platform focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used by researchers from the social sciences, health sciences, and more. Full text available in HTML and PDF. You can limit searches by research method type. 1970s-present.
- International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (2d ed) by Comprises over 3,900 articles, commissioned by 71 section editors, and includes 90,000 bibliographic references as well as comprehensive name and subject indexes; more than 80 percent of the chapters are new or updated since the original text. Both its format and integrated chapters encourage discovery and map contexts and connections within the social and behavioral sciences. Some experts prefer the first edition (2001).ISBN: 978-0-08-097087-5Publication Date: 2015
Country/Regional profiles in depth
- EIU ViewpointA key resource for political economy and area studies/comparative politics, EIU Viewpoint integrates Economist Intelligence Unit Country Reports and other forecasts, analyses, news, and data at the global, regional, and country level for almost 200 countries. Some content updated daily. "Two-Year Forecasts" continue approach and format of the former Country Reports; "One-Click Reports" resemble the forecasts but conspicuously do not provide tabular data. Data are interactive and include some visualizations; tables can be exported to Excel. Coverage goes back to 2011, with coverage to 1996 planned. See also the definitive Country Reports archives:
- 1996-2021: EIU.com classic platform.
- 1952-1995: Economist Intelligence Unit Country Reports Archive from ProQuest provides digitized versions of original print reports.
Surveys of US National Intelligence Published Outputs (Webinars)
Archived 45-minute webcasts provide overviews for exploring publicly available information from US intelligence agencies. Presenter is Albert Chapman (Purdue University Library). Offered in 2018-19 as part of the US Government Publishing Office's "FDLP Academy" training sessions for librarians (but not geeky)
- Enhancing Your Intelligence Agency Information Resource IQ, Pt. 1: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence. This webinar describes information resources produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). This agency is responsible for leading U.S. intelligence community integration to deliver the most insightful intelligence information for national security policymakers. Organizational components whose resources are covered include the National Intelligence Council (NIC), National Counterproliferation Center (NCPC), National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), and Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC). Individuals viewing this webinar will learn more about the multifaceted and publicly-accessible information resources produced by ODNI." Recorded May 02, 2018.
- Enhancing your Intelligence Agency Information Resource IQ, PT. 2: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Viewers will gain an understanding of the CIA’s organizational structure, and learn to use the historical and contemporary information resources which are produced by the CIA." Recorded June 12, 2018.
- Enhancing Your Intelligence Agency Information Resources IQ, Part 3 Defense Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency. "This webinar demonstrates the publicly-accessible information resources produced by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA). It contains information about both of these agencies historical backgrounds (including declassified Freedom of Information Act reports, and their ongoing missions including the NSA’s role in cybersecurity and signals intelligence." Recorded September 18, 2018.
- Enhancing Your Intelligence Agency Information Resource IQ, PT. 4 National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence University, and National Reconnaissance Office. "Viewers should gain an enhanced understanding of the publicly-accessible information resources produced by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, National Intelligence University, and National Reconnaissance Office and how these agencies carry out their policymaking activities." Recorded November 06, 2018.
- Enhancing Your Intelligence Agency Information Resources IQ, Part 5: Individual Armed Services Intelligence Organizations. "This webinar will introduce viewers to the publicly-accessible information resources provided by individual branches of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy. Learn more about topics such as ballistic missiles, cybersecurity, international piracy, and other areas of relevance in military intelligence analysis." Recorded January 17, 2019.
- Enhancing Your Intelligence Agency Information Resources IQ, Part 7: Department of Energy, Homeland Security, State Dept., Treasury Dept., and Boards and Commissions. "Learn about the contemporary and historic intelligence information resources produced by these agencies, boards, and commissions." Recorded March 26, 2019.
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Temporary, trial access only -- use while you can
The University Libraries at Virginia Tech regularly secure short-term, trial access to online resources in order to gauge their appropriateness to our university's teaching and research missions. These trials run in October, February, and sometimes April.
Trials are listed in a sidebar in the main Databases A-Z directory.
Each entry includes a link to a user survey. I and other subject librarians invite you to email us your detailed assessments of resources. Responses from the Virginia Tech community are vital to the library's deliberations about whether and when to acquire or enhance databases and the like.
As appropriate I will list trials and user survey links a resource trials tab in this and my other libguides. Entries for trials I may include in the body of my libguides will go away when the trial period ends.