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Michigan State University

International Relations: Country Profiles

Covers international law, institutions, theory of international relations, foreign policy, international political economy, environment, human rights, food security, national security.


Looking for information about specific countries?  Well I started out listing some resources available to the MSU community providing information on the countries of the world.   Then I added some statistical guides.  Take a look and feel free to send me other recommendations.

For More Statistics Options

The Political Science / Public Policy Resource Guide also has a Statistics and Data tab focusing primarily on U.S. statistics and data.

The library also provides an International Statistics LibGuide for those interested in sources of international statistics.

Country Profiles and Statistics

ACLED Regional and Country Reports.   Provide detailed conflict profiles for selected African regions and countries. Historical patterns of violence, regional dynamics and key actors are explored.  Also listed under the International Datasets tab.

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.  Choose a country from the drop down lists.

CIA World Factbook.  Provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.  Compiled by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Country Profiles. Provides background and historical context of current economic and political events along with in-depth analysis of political and economic trends for countries and regions.  Covers over 180 countries.

Europa World Year Book.  Presents political and economic information on countries and territories as well as international organizations. Features statistical data and directories.  Covers over 250 countries.

MSU GlobalEdge.  Created by MSU's Center for International Business Education and Research (MSU-CIBER), globalEDGE provides insight into global business activities. Includes country profiles with corporate culture and risk, statistics, industry overviews, news, and more.

Political Handbook of the World (part of the CQ Press political reference suite).   A collection of comprehensive country profiles chronicling each nation's political history, government, leadership, elections, and political parties that includes profiles of intergovernmental organizations, development banks, and the agencies and specialized bodies of the United Nations.

Political Risk Yearbooks.  100 country specific profiles of current political, economic and social forces.  Courtesy of Business Source Complete.

Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets.  U.S. Department of State.  Covers all the countries of the world with which the United States has relations. Each report contains info on bilateral relations with the U.S., travel, and business. There are also additional useful links, including a link to the CIA World Factbook entry for each country. These reports are updated periodically.  Formerly called Background Notes.

U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.  The annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – the Human Rights Reports – cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. The U.S. Department of State submits reports on all countries receiving assistance and all United Nations member states to the U.S. Congress in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Trade Act of 1974.

Library of Congress Country Studies. Contains the electronic versions of 80 books previously published in hard copy as part of the Country Studies Series by the Federal Research Division. Intended for a general audience, books in the series present a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of select countries throughout the world. Most books in the series deal with a single foreign country, but a few cover several countries or a geographic region. The series includes several books on countries that no longer exist in their original configuration—such as Czechoslovakia, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Sudan, and Yugoslavia. These books remain in the series because they continue to offer valuable historical information and perspective. In some cases, studies on successor states are also part of the series.

Hein Online World Constitutions Illustrated.  World Constitutions Illustrated contains thousands of contemporary and historical documents, as well as many features to enable one to browse and search across constitutional law of more than 190 countries.  Alternative source for CIA World Factbook, Library of Congress Country Studies, and many other resources.

Country Profiles and Statistics, Part 2

Proquest Statistical Insight.  Need to find statistics that might be hiding in a publication? Provides abstracting, indexing, and full text for publications from hundreds of public domain and licensed sources. Covers (1) Federal statistical publications. 5,000 titles/year. Coverage from 1973; full text from 2004. (2) State government and business statistical reports. 2,200 titles/year. Coverage from 1980; full text from 2007. (3) International statistical publications from the UN, OECD, EU, etc. 2,500 titles/year. Coverage from 1980. Full text from 2007.  Hundreds of thousands of statistical tables selected from the three publication modules. Tables are individually indexed to ensure precise search and retrieval.  Includes links to U.S. Statistical Abstracts and Statistical Abstracts of the World.  Need help?  Consult the  Proquest LibGuide on using Statistical Insight

ProQuest International Datasets.  A data visualization product with a collection of public and private datasets from national governments, international organizations, and economic research firms. Access is provided to social and economic data, at both the national and sub-national level. Major data providers include Datamyne (global import and export data), Oxford Economics (economic time series including forecasts to 2020), Economist Intelligence Unit (banking and finance). Data is also aggregated from major international organizations such as FAO, World Bank, UN, etc., and data is included from many country statistical agencies.

Eurostat : When it comes to providing a comprehensive statistical portrait of Europe, Eurostat can rightfully claim that it’s a “one-stop shopping” site. The categories include general and regional statistics; economy and finance; population and social conditions; industry, trade and services; agriculture and fisheries; international trade, and much more.

International Human Development Indicators.   United Nations Development Program

OECD iLibrary.  OECD iLibrary is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) featuring its books, papers and statistics and is the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data. OECD iLibrary also contains content published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the OECD Development Centre, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and the International Transport Forum (ITF).

OECD iLibrary Statistics.  OECD Statistical Data cover the broad range of OECD activities including finance, sustainable development, social issues, food and agriculture, education, employment, information technology, nuclear energy, transport, and much more.

UN Data.  Single entry point to all United Nations statistical databases.

World Bank Country Profiles

World Bank DataBank. DataBank is an analysis and visualisation tool that contains collections of time series data on a variety of topics. You can create your own queries; generate tables, charts, and maps; and easily save, embed, and share them.

World Bank eLibrary.  Browse World Bank content by region or country.

Country Statistical Yearbooks.  Compiled by University of Wisconsin-Madison.

U.S. Census Bureau Links to Country Statistical Programs.

Proquest Statistical Abstracts of the World. Provides authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions.

Statesman's Yearbook JA51 .S7 (Latest edition available in Closed Reference Cabinet; earlier volumes in Main Library Stacks) - Statistical and historical annual of the states of the world.


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