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International Policy Comparisons
The below resources will provide background information that can help you draw comparisons between countries. For more specific information, search for topical books in the library catalog and journal articles in library indexes.
Articles on International Policy
Information in PAIS International and PAIS Archive covers topical public and social issues and the making and evaluating of public policy. Worldwide in geographic scope, PAIS International and PAIS Archive indexes publications in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish that deal with public affairs.
PAIS Archive is a retrospective database supplementing PAIS International containing more than 1.2 million records covering the years 1915-1976.
Basic Country Information
Worldmark encyclopedia of the nations
Presents easy-to-understand information on 200 countries and dependencies from around the world. Entries discuss a variety of topics in detail, from banking and securities to climate, from government data to demographic statistics.
CIA World Factbook
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.
Presents political and economic information on countries and territories as well as international organizations.
The Statesman's year-book
Available in print at the Main Library Reference Desk.
The Statesman's Yearbook includes reliable information on every country in the world, covering key historical events, population, social statistics, government, economy, industry, social institutions, religion, and culture.
Political Handbook of the World
Political Handbook of the World provides thorough and accurate information on the major aspects of each country's government and political party system.
Countries and their Cultures
"Presents the cultural similarities within a country that set it apart from others by examining over 200 countries to document the myriad ways in which culture defines and separates the nations of the world as much as geographical borders do. Surveys each country's shared values, behaviors and cultural variations from foods and rituals to pastimes and arts, using a standard entry format for easy comparison. "
Books on International Policy
Search in the library catalog on the name of the country or region you are interested in and the phrase "social policy" (also try "social service" or "human services" or "social work"). Some general titles are listed below:
International Social Statistics
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 lots more!
A key publication is the OECD Factbook
United Nations Data
An enormous, free database of statistical information gathered by the United Nations and related agencies. Includes data from more than 180 countries and from a diverse group of IGOs, including the FAO, Unesco, UNDP and the WHO.
World Bank Open Data
The World Bank's Open Data initiative is intended to provide all users with access to World Bank data. The data catalog is a listing of available World Bank data sources. A key resource is the World Development Indicators.
Human Development Reports
The Human Development Report is an independent publication commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Data on a variety of quality of life (e.g., access to health care, life expectancy, education) variables are provided.
International Statistics Research Guide
Consult this guide for a list of additional general sources and regional sources.
State Policy Comparisons
The below resources will provide background information that can help you draw comparisons between U.S. States. For more specific information, search for topical books in the library catalog and journal articles in library indexes.
US State Information
Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States
Presents summaries about all 50 states including sections on population, government, economy, income, health, social welfare, education, etc.
Political encyclopedia of U.S. states and regions
"Presents individual state profiles, about ten pages each, that are uniformly structured to allow comparison of state history, the political environment, elections and voting behavior, the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, intergovernmental relations, state-tribal relations (where applicable), and long-term issues and policy trends. ... Also included are some 175 A-to-Z topical entries discussing general concepts related to governmental functions and procedures."
State Government Websites
List of State Government Websites
Links to official state websites from USA.gov.
State Legislative Websites Directory
"This database contains information gleaned from the home pages and websites of the fifty state legislatures, the District of Columbia and the Territories. You can select to view specific website content materials (such as, bills, press rooms, statutes) from all states, one state or a selected list of states."
"Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Center on the States. Since 1999, it has reported and analyzed trends in state policy." Browse stories by state or policy area.
National Conference of State Legislators
The National Conference of State Legislators is a bipartisan non-governmental organization that serves legislators and their staff by advocating for state issues, providing research, and allowing for exchange of ideas. You can find news, reports/policy research and bill summaries. Their magazine, State legislatures, features current news on state policy issues.
Council of State Governments Knowledge Center
The Council of State Governments is a nonpartisan non-profit organization that serves all three branches of state government as a forum for discussion and collaboration to help shape public policy. The Knowledge Center includes news, policy resolutions, and statistics.
National Governors Association
The National Governors Association is a bipartisan organization of state governors that advocates for public policy issues. Find news about policy issues of current interest to the states.
Get data from the U.S. Census Bureau. You can use American FactFinder to view, print, and download statistics about population, housing, industry, and business.
Guide to State Statistical Abstracts and State Information
This appendix to the Statistical Abstract of the United States is a bibliography of state specific statistical publications and websites.
MSU Libraries Data & Statistics Research Guides
Listing of all general and subject-specific research guides that point to relevant resources, both library subscription resources and freely available online resources.
Print book available in Main Library reference collection. "A statistical view of the 50 United States."