Political Science

IntroductionAmerican GovernmentComparative GovernmentInternational RelationsPolitical Theory


Political Science is the study of systems of government, politics, and power. WCC offers courses on Political Science including Political Theory, American Government, International Relations, and Comparative Government. This guide is meant to help students find the best sources for both within the libraries collection and on the open web, as well as resources for keeping current on political news and events.

Browse @ Library Stacks

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


Political Science Call-Numbers
JA Political science (General) JN Political institutions and public administration (Europe)
JC Political theory JQ Political institutions and public administration (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)
JF Political institutions and public administration JS Local and Municipal Government
JJ Political institutions and public administration (North America) JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
JK Political institutions and public administration (United States) JX International law, see also JZ and KZ
JL Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.) JZ  International Relations


American Government

  • C-Span Video Library Most comprehensive video archives of governmental and political content.
  • Crash Course U.S. Government and Politics A popular ongoing YouTube series of short videos that makes American government and politics accessible to everyone.
  • Political 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 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 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.
  • Congressional Research Service Reports 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

The Presidency and the Executive Branch

  • Compilation of Presidential Documents. From 1992 onward, the official publications of materials released by the White House Press Secretary.
  • Presidential Libraries from the National Archives
  • The Presidency: Miller Center. This site provides a digital archive of presidential recordings, speeches, and documents. From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the Univ. of Virginia this site provides the most comprehensive non-partisan resource available on the history and function of the American presidency.
  • Founders Archive Online. From the National Archives, historical documents from our Founding Fathers.

The Legislative Branch

  • U.S. House of Representatives Information on members, committees, hearing schedules.
  • U.S. Senate Information on members, committees, hearing schedules.
  • Congress.gov Maintained by the Library of Congress. Provides both a summary and the full text of a bill and indicates its status in the legislative process. Thomas can be searched by subject, sponsor, bill number, and popular title.
  • Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress  Find short biographies of all members of Congress since 1774.
  • Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation Part of the Library of Congress’s American Memory Collection. Contains the full text documents from the Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention, and the 1st to 42nd Congresses (1774-1873).
  • U.S. House of Representatives History, Art & Archives    “…heritage of ‘the People’s House’ and its central role in U.S. history since 1789. … Access historical data and other research resources.”
  • U.S. Senate History    “…history and traditions of the U.S. Senate from the First Federal Congress of 1789 through the early twenty-first century.”

The Judiciary

  • U.S Supreme Court Official website
  • FindLaw Full-text database of all Supreme Court decisions from 1893 to the present can be browsed by year or searched by keyword, cite umber, or party.
  • Oyez Project  A multimedia archive of the Supreme Court, developed by Northwestern University. Includes abstracts of important constitutional cases, biographical information on justices, and a Supreme Court virtual tour.
Washington State & Whatcom County Resources

Washington State Politics

  • Access Washington A portal to all things Washington from statistics to government contact information.
  • Elections and Voting  From the Office of the Secretary of State, provides links to election and voting information, including candidates and campaigns.
  • Find-it! Washington From the State Library, a collection of online search tools to help citizens find government information
  • Initiatives and Referendums From the Secretary of State, a database to locate the full text of initiatives and referendums.
  • Washington State Legislature A comprehensive site that provides access to legislators, senators, committees, laws and more.
  • Revised Code of Washington (RCW) A compilation of all permanent laws now in force.

Whatcom County Politics

Comparative Government

Featured Database


wcc students only logo CultureGrams: Explore cultures from around the world, through summaries, interviews, videos, slideshows, photos, maps, recipes, graphs, tables. Access National Geographic maps.

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

  • Constitute:  “The World’s Constitutions to Read, Search & Compare”. A resource for learning about and comparing the constitutions of most countries of the world.
  • 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.
  • Center for the Study of Intelligence (CIA): “serves as a trusted repository of intelligence articles, publications, and scholarship”. Includes the World Factbook, as well as unclassified publications, maps, reports, and information on world leaders.
  • Eurotopics: European press review featuring publications from 32 countries in 5 languages.
  • Global Open Data Index: Datasets from world governments.
  • 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 Programs (US Census)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.


International Relations

United Nations Web TV Channel


  • Global Issues Overview: United Nations provides an overview of a variety of global issues that transcend national boundaries.
  • Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Annual reports on international human rights practices prepared by the U.S. State Department.
  • Eurotopics: European press review featuring publications from 32 countries in 5 languages.
  • Associated Press: Short videos covering International Politics, Conflicts, and Terrorism from the Associated Press Archives
  • The President’s Inbox: Podcast series on current foreign policy challenges. Hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations’s Director of Studies.


Political Theory


(The School of Life) Video series discussing the work of political theorists, including Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Organizations & Think Tanks

Research Think Tanks
TTCSP Global Go To Think Tank Index Reports
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

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 (Freedom Forum Institute). “Our mission: providing resources to help the public understand how their First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly and petition work, and how they can be protected.”
  • 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.


Keeping Up With…

Classic Texts of Political Theory
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.

The Academic and the Activist. Political science from the perspective of an academic and an activist.

New Books in Political Science: US and international politics & policy.

The Political Theory Review. Recent books in political theory, political philosophy.

P.S. You’re Interesting: New research in political science.

The Monkey Cage Blog. Washington Post.