Political Science

world citizen icon This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licensePolitical Science is the study of politics and power from domestic, international, and comparative perspectives. It entails understanding political ideas, ideologies, institutions, policies, processes, and behavior, as well as groups, classes, government, diplomacy, law, strategy, and war.

[Definition from Northwestern University ]

Research Starts

The library provides access to books, scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers.  Here are few books to get you started in Political Science.


decorativeThe Oxford Handbook of Political Science (print Stacks JA 66 .097 2009)

Blackwell Dictionary of Political Science: A User’s Guide to Its Terms  (EBSCO eBook)

Encyclopedia of Political Science (print Reference JA 61 .E513 2011)

Safire’s Political Dictionary (print Reference JK 9 .S2 2008)


Use these Research Databases to find scholarly journals, magazines, government reports & more.

Quick List of Top Journals

Acta Politica (2003 – 1 year ago)

American Foreign Policy Interests (2001 – 18 months ago)

American Journal of Political Science (1975 – 1 year ago)

American Political Science Review (1988 – present. 1906-1922 free at JSTOR Early Journal Content)

Journal of Comparative Politics (2008 – present)

Journal of Political Philosophy (1998 – 1 year ago)

Political Science Quarterly (1994 – 6 months ago. 1988 – 2012 via ProQuest; 1886 – 1922 free at JSTOR Early Journal Content)

Perspectives on Politics (2009 – 1 year ago)

PS, Political Science and Politics (1994 – present)

  • ProQuest Social Sciences ProQuest Social Sciences
  •  Publications on social science information including political science.

  • CQ Researcher CQ Researcher
  • Full-text research articles on current topics. The articles include an overview, background information, statistics, pros/cons, chronologies and more.

  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context Opposing Viewpoints in Context
  • Full-text information on social issues—provides both pros and cons on each topic. Information is from a variety of sources; including reference books, journal articles, and primary sources.  Information is also presented in a variety of formats; including video, audio and image files.

  • World History in Context World History in Context
  • Full-text information on world history from a variety of sources; including reference books, journal articles, and primary sources.  Information is also presented in a variety of formats; including video, audio and image files.

    Special Topics

    Political Theory - The Classics

    Full Text online, multiple formats

    Aristotle Politics: A Treatise on Government

    St. Augustine of Hippo The City of God Vol. 1 and Vol. 2

    Burke, Edmund Works Vol. 3 (includes Reflections on the Revolution in France)

    Confucius Analects

    Han Fei Tzu (or “Han Feizi”) The Han Feizi

    Hobbes, Thomas Leviathan

    Kautilya Arthashastra

    Locke, John Two Treatises of Government Vol. 1 and Vol. 2

    Machiavelli, Niccolò The Prince

    Marx, Karl The Communist Manifesto

    Mill, John Stuart On Liberty

    Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat The Spirit of Laws

    Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm Beyond Good and Evil

    Plato The Republic

    Paine, Thomas Common Sense

    Paine, Thomas Writings (includes The Rights of Man)

    Rousseau, Jean-Jacques A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of Inequality Among Mankind

    Rousseau, Jean-Jacques The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right

    Sun Tzu (or “Sunzi”) The Art of War

    Thucydides The History of the Peloponnesian War

    Wollstonecraft, Mary A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

    American Government


    C-SPAN LogoC-Span Video Library
    Most comprehensive video archives of governmental and political content.

    Crash Course U.S. Government and PoliticsLogo "Crash Course" Decorative
    A popular ongoing YouTube series of short videos that makes American government and politics accessible to everyone.

    Poli Archive IconPolitical TV Ad Archive
    Collects political TV ads in key early 2016 primary election states, unlocking the metadata underneath and highlighting quality journalism to provide reliable information on who is trying to influence them and how.


    FactCheck.org LogoFactCheck.org
    A “nonpartisan, nonprofit ‘consumer advocate’ for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” A “project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.”


    govinfo logo

    This site provides free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government and allows you to: Search, Browse alphabetically, by category, by Congressional committee, and by date.


    Every Congressional Research Service Report
    A legislative branch agency, housed inside the Library of Congress, charged with providing the United States Congress non-partisan advice on issues that may come before Congress.

    Full Text Classics in American Politics & Primary Source Documents
    Key Primary Source Federal Websites
    Washington State & Whatcom County Resources

    International Relations

    Country Information

  • CultureGrams CultureGrams
  • Full-text information on cultures of more than 200 countries in reports that include maps, statistics, a glossary and information in 25 categories; including government.

    BBC News Country Profiles
    Full profiles provide an instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions.

    CIA World Factbook
    Produced for US policymakers and coordinated throughout the US Intelligence Community, marshals facts on every country, dependency, and geographic entity in the world.

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

    International Statistical Agencies
    The U.S. Census Bureau provides both short- and long-term technical assistance on a wide variety of topics related to censuses, surveys, and information systems. Over the past six decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has worked in over 100 countries, and as such is uniquely endowed with experience in every major region of the world.


    Comparative Government

    Resources to help you advance your studies of major foreign powers.

    constitue faviconConstitute:  “The World’s Constitutions to Read, Search & Compare”. A resource for learning about and comparing the constitutions of most countries of the world.

    iconArmed Conflict Database
    The Armed Conflict Database (ACD) monitors armed conflicts worldwide, focusing on political, military and humanitarian trends in current conflicts, whether they are local rebellions, long-term insurgencies, civil wars or inter-state conflicts.

    Statesman’s Yearbook: Information on every country in the world, covering key historical events, population, economics, trade and infrastructure.

    Nations in Transit:  A comparative, multidimensional study focusing on the 27 former Communist states.


    Browse @ Library Stacks

    J  This section of the Stacks is where are the books relating to Political Science can be browsed.


    Here is a list of more precise locations


    News & Current Affairs

    From the Monkey Cage Blog (“Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.” — H.L. Mencken)

    Learn More

    Saylor academy favicon

    Saylor Academy online courses in Political Science.

    Open Yale Logo

    Learn Political Philosophy from OpenYale

    The Axe Files with David Axelrod
    Current director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics David Axelrod interviews key political figures in a series of low-key, thoughtful discussions, ranging from Jon Stewart to Eliot Spitzer and Lindsey Graham to Bernie Sanders.

    Decode DC
    Produced by the Scripps News Washington Bureau—aims to demystify politics by illuminating and explaining politics and political culture.  Episodes that run less than half an hour, gain insight into the machinery that makes American politics run.

    Office Hours”  from the University of Kentucky Political Science Department


    Organizations & Think Tanks

    Think tanks can be defined as institutions affiliated with universities, governments, advocacy groups, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and businesses that generate public policy research, analysis, and activity. Here are some focused on political science research:

    • Open Secrets from the Center for Responsive Politics Provides charts and reports on top donors, profiles of every House and Senate race for the most recent election cycle, and PAC donations by industry and firm.
    • The First Amendment Center Offers comprehensive research coverage of key First Amendment issues and topics.
    • Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Provides articles, statistics, and research on the topic of Media and politics
    • Follow the Money Revealing the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states.
    • Global Integrity “Independent, non-profit organization tracking governance and corruption trends around the world”. Features a Global Integrity Index for each country.
    • The Policy Studies Organization: PSO, publishes academic journals and books on politics and public policy. Students can access recent articles from publications like the Policy Studies Journal; Politics and Policy; Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy; and World Medical and Health Policy.

    TTCSP Global Go To Think Tank Index ReportsLearn more about Think Tanks
    The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. They produce an annual index