Politics & International Relations - Recommended Sources

Resources Bought for Your Course

This archive contains analysis, research, debates and speeches from the Royal Institute of International Affairs from 1920-2008. Topics covered include the Spanish Civil War, the Cold War, energy security, nuclear disarmament, decolonisation etc. You can also listen to recordings of meetings and speeches as well as seeing the transcript in many cases.

Access 800,000 pages of primary source documents produced between 1874 and 1965. You will find handwritten letters to and from Winston Churchill, plus the typed manuscripts of his speeches. The Teaching & Research section also contains academic overviews on key topics such as women and social change, empire and imperialism, the origins of the First World War, the Cold War and nuclear weapons, the "special relationship" between Britain and America and Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty - all have links to relevant documents within the archive.

Read in-depth coverage about empires across the world from ancient to modern times. Entries include the Suez Crisis of 1956, the partition of Africa, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Dutch East Indies, propaganda and empire, decolonization in the French and British empires, postcolonialism and much more. 

Key facts and statistics for every country in the world, plus very useful, background essays by country experts covering the contemporary history, politics and economics of each country. There are also background essays on international and regional organisations. The statistics are searchable and let you create comparative charts across countries.

Search or browse one of the most detailed primary sources for the history of Britain and its former colonies. Reports from military officers serving abroad are included, as well as Command Papers, Bills, Committee reports. Hansard is available from 1803. (See UK Parliament link if you need more recent papers.)

This gives a wide range of statistics on population, education, (un)employment, agriculture, industry, motor vehicles, railways, TV and radio etc. 

Data can be viewed as PDF (downloadable) or Excel format which can then be exported. When you use the search box beware - it is not just searching this source but the whole of Palgrave's e-books (which we have bought via Ebook Central where applicable). You can narrow down to this resource by using Advanced Search and selecting International Historical Statistics in the Book Collection box. Click the Reference Products button if you want to get back to the stats home page quickly.

Oxford Political Science Handbooks offer thorough introductions and a survey of the current state of research in key topics such as war, civil society, British politics, comparative politics, political economy, political theory, public policy and the United Nations. Chapters review key issues and major debates and indicate how the debates might evolve.

World experts give you accurate, unbiased and up-to-date overviews of a wide range of political topics e.g. arms control/reduction, comparative foreign policy analysis, foreign aid as a foreign policy tool, maritime piracy, new public management, non-state actors and foreign policy, political party membership, politics and mass media, public policy. Each entry is designed to take 30 mins or less to read so have a look here when you have a new topic to research.

Over 240 unlimited access in-depth guides to current and classic research across a range of subject areas. If you can't access something via this site, put the book title into the Portsmouth catalogue instead as we have previously bought some titles via Ebook Central.

There are lots of titles relevant to Politics/IR in this package e.g. Myanmar, the Arab Spring, Security Studies, Ethnic Conflict, Soft Power

Specialist e-resources

A global movement which campaigns to end grave abuses of human rights.

This fantastic resource has captured UK terrestrial TV and radio programmes from 1998 onwards for anyone in UK universities to watch for free. You can create playlists and clips to embed in presentations, as well as putting in requests for recording. Look out for all the useful documentaries. (Not available to anyone outside the UK.)

A brilliant collection of declassified documents covering the Cuban Missile Crisis and many other aspects of the Cold War. If you click Collections you will gain access to a wide range of documents from former communist countries, as well documents on nuclear history around the world and archives about the Berlin Wall, the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and much more.

A variety of reference works, including dictionaries, which tutors may well prefer to Wikipedia, and it even tells you how to set out a reference to what you find. Try out the 'Mind Map' option to see how your keyword links to others - useful for essay planning and dissertation work (use the arrow next to Basic Search to get to it).

Detailed local and national election statistics from around the world.

An independent body set up by the UK Parliament to regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections.

• Gallup 

Surveys of American public opinion. There is also a section which covers countries across the world.

Research and analysis on a wide variety of topics from social policy to foreign policy to trade and economics produced by impartial experts in the House of Commons Library.

An independent, non-profit, NGO committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

• Ipsos MORI 

Go to the Political Monitor and Political Polling sections for UK public opinion data relevant to Politics courses.

A trustworthy guide to key websites on government and politics across the world compiled by experts at Keele University.  

Go to the Resources section on this site to find Podcasts of presentations and discussions about the Middle East which have been hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The leading UK body promoting the study of politics. Membership is international and includes practitioners and policy-makers, as well as academics and students.

Produced annually since 1978, this is the World Bank’s major analytical publication. The report focuses on a different topic each year.

• YouGov 

Public opinion from over 350,000 volunteers from across the UK.

UK Politics

An online archive of British political speeches, searchable by date, party, name or keyword. The archive holds the text of speeches given by Conservative, Labour and Liberal/Liberal Democrat Party leaders from 1895 to the present.

Search or browse the full text of British Cabinet Papers from 1915-1978 which are held in the National Archives. If you want to search, it is worth reading the search tips available on the site.


Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland 1968 to the present.


Use this site to find Government information from departments, publications or statistics. 
H.M. Treasury is particularly useful for publications and statistics.

Search or browse one of the most detailed primary sources for the history of Britain and its former colonies. Reports from military officers serving abroad are included, as well as Command Papers, Bills, Committee reports. Hansard is available from 1803. (See UK Parliament link if you need more recent papers.)

Manifestos from 1945 onwards.

Access the daily record of debates in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords right up to the present (the Weekly Information Bulletin, business papers, Committee publications and Register of Members’ Interests are also available). Includes Hansard.

Policy Analysis

A UK Conservative free-market think tank, focusing on economic policy, the management of the welfare state and funding of public services.

• Brookings 

A key independent source on US economics, governance and foreign policy.

CFR is a non-partisan resource on US foreign and national security policy, providing expert analysis of international news which challenges both policymakers and citizens.

• Demos 

An independent UK think-tank covering all areas of social and economic policy aiming to offer radical policy solutions.

A UK left of centre think tank exploring political ideas and policy reforms.

The aim of this Institute which was founded in 1985 is to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. The Policy Analysis section leads to detailed documents covering specific issues and countries.


UK Defence statistics.

• Eurostat 

Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union and its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions.


A useful place for locating official statistics from regional organisations as well as individual countries.

Authoritative data going back to 1878 from the United States Census Bureau. For earlier years data is available via PDF or Zip files but more recent years have Excel spreadsheets available to download.

Official statistics from the UK Government.

Use this site to help gather a large range of statistics, including data on the Millennium Development Goals.

Your Subject Team

Anne Worden

Faculty Librarian

Email: Anne.Worden@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3243

Sharon Bittner

Assistant Faculty Librarian

Email: sharon.bittner@port.ac.uk

Phone: (023) 9284 3234

Further Information