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Political Science / Public Policy Resources: Introduction


Welcome to the Political Science / Public Policy Resources Research Guide. Here you will find general information about locating resources on Political Science and Public Policy in the MSU Libraries and beyond. Note the many tabs at the top of the page. Click on the appropriate tab for more information. Some items are duplicated in more than one location.


Political Science is the study of governments, public policies and political processes, systems, and political behavior.  Political science subfields include political theory, political philosophy, political ideology,  political economy, policy studies and analysis, comparative politics, international relations, and a host of related fields.  (For a good cross section of the areas of study, see the list of APSA Organized Sections.)  Political scientists use both humanistic and scientific perspectives and tools and a variety of methodological approaches to examine the process, systems, and political dynamics of all countries and regions of the world. (American Political Science Association).

MSU Academic Departments and Key Contacts

MSU Department of Political Science
Describes undergraduate and graduate programs at Michigan State University. Lists faculty members, their academic interests and recent publications. Also includes the full text of some departmental publications.

MSU James Madison College
James Madison College provides liberal education in public affairs for undergraduates.

MSU Institute for Public Policy and Social Research
The nonpartisan public policy network at Michigan State University. Our staff is dedicated to connecting legislators, scholars, and practitioners through applied research, lively policy forums, and political leadership instruction.

MSU Peace and Justice Studies Program
A flexible, multidisciplinary program designed to complement any undergraduate major. Its primary objective is to encourage students to think critically about violence, its causes, consequences, and alternatives both at home and abroad.  Check out a separate Peace and Justice Studies Library Guide.

MSU Experts Database

Searchable database of MSU faculty including political science and public policy experts.


Here are some links to more popular ones in the areas of political science and public administration:

American Political Science Association Online (APSANet)
The APSA is the major professional society for individuals engaged in the study of politics and government. APSA brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry, regions, and occupational endeavors. The web site features:

  • Departments of Political Science
  • Scholarly Journals Available Online
  • Political Science Conference Info
  • Grants and Fellowships Available
  • Related Organizations Links
  • Related Research Resources
  • Related Teaching Resources
  • Professional Development Links


American Society for Public Administration
The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), established in 1939, is the largest and most prominent professional association in the field of public administration. 

International Political Science Association
Contains links to national political science associations and a description of International Political Science Abstracts which the association publishes.

Midwest Political Science Association
The Midwest Political Science Association is a national organization of political science professors, teachers, students, and public administrators founded in 1939. The association is dedicated to the advancement of scholarly communication in all areas of political science. Each year the association sponsors a three-day conference of political scientists in Chicago for the purpose of presenting and discussing the latest research in political science. More than 2,100 individuals participate in this conference, which features more than 325 panels and programs on politics. In addition to information about the association's conference, the web site also provides information about the American Journal of Political Science as well as a table of contents service.

Society for Political Methodology/APSA Political Methodology Section
The primary purpose of this site is to serve as the gateway to the Electronic Paper Archive. From here you can view abstacts of conference and working papers online and download papers for local printing. This is also the gateway to The Political Methodologist, our newsletter, and Political Analysis, the official journal of the section. Much of the work we do relies upon the use of mathematical and statistical software, so this site also includes links to useful Computing resources. Political methodology focuses on the analysis of empirical data, so we also provide replication data sets and example data sets from published and unpublished work on the Research and Teaching page.

Encyclopedia of Associations (EA): National Organizations of the U.S., 2017, 56th edition available via the Gale Directory Library in MeL!
Click in the “Organizations” + box to select and then type your search term in the “Basic Search” box keeping in mind that you can specify your search words as well as limit results. EA is the most comprehensive source for detailed information on more than 24,000 nonprofit American membership organizations of national scope and multi-national scope. Every entry offers a wealth of valuable data, typically including the organization's complete name, address and phone number together with the primary official's name and title; fax number, website and email when available; founding date, purpose, activities and dues; narrative description of association's purpose and activities; national and international conferences; and more. Encyclopedia of Associations can be an excellent resource for small business development and for entrepreneurs as well as general research.  MeL databases are available to Michigan residents or Michigan library access only.


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