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SOAS Library

Thematic resources

  • Political Theory

    The Keele Guide to Political Thought and Ideology on the Internet
    Comprehensive guide to political thought on the Internet.

  • War and Conflict Management
    • INCORE (Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity)
      The key gateway for online resources relating to conflict and ethnicity. Use the Conflict Data Service for current and historical information on all major on-going conflicts, visit the theme sites for information on a variety of issues relevant to conflict, and select Country Guides for information on specific countries.
    • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
      News items about the Balkans, the Caucasus and other areas in Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Featuring crisis reports, tribunal updates and archives.
    • International Crisis Group
      Independent, non-profit, multinational organisation working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.
    • Margarita S. Studemeister Digital Library in International Conflict Management
      Part of United States Institute of Peace. Collecting full text of peace agreements signed by the contending parties, ending inter- and intrastate conflicts worldwide since 1989 for its Peace Agreements Digital Collection. Also acquiring decrees establishing truth commissions and similar bodies of inquiry worldwide, and the reports issued by such groups for the Truth Commissions Digital Collection
    • Operations de paix
      French-language guide to peace-keeping operations and initiatives worldwide, created by a network of Francophone research organisations led by the University of Montreal. Includes links to current and historical UN peace-keeping missions, biographies of key figures, glossary of key terms, full-text UN and other major peace documents, information on EU and African union peace initiatives and a listing of recent news stories.
    • Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research - Harvard University
      The only sector-wide professional association of individuals engaged in humanitarian assistance and protection worldwide, PHAP’s mission is to enhance the capacity of the global humanitarian community to respond effectively and professionally to current and future crises.
    • Small Arms Survey
      The Small Arms Survey is the principal source of public information on all aspects of small arms. It assesses national and international non-governmental organisations.
    • Stop the War Coalition
      Web-site containing information about the Group as well as information about the situation in Iraq/Middle-East/Palestine and all aspects of the "war on terror". The site aims to provide an online resource of articles and links which will be of use to students and staff at SOAS.
    • Uppsala Conflict Database
      Maintained by Uppsala University. Provides access to free information and data about conflicts worldwide from 1989 to the present.
  • Human Rights
    • Amnesty International
      Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.
    • Asian Human Rights Commission
      Web-site of the Commission with information, news and links.
    • Centre for the Study of Human Rights
      A forum for researchers to debate critical human rights issues. Based at London School of Economics.
    • Human Rights Watch
      Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights.
    • Christian Solidarity Worldwide
      UK-based human rights organization specializing in religious freedom worldwide.
    • Human Security Gateway
      Joint project of the Human Security Centre (HSC) and the Canadian Consortium on Human Security (CCHS), University of British Columbia. Aims to provide researchers with a searchable database of links to key web sites, full-text reports, journal articles, news items and factsheets relating to human security worldwide. Searchable by country or topic.
    • International Alert
      UK-based NGO set up in 1985 by human rights activist Martin Ennals. Aims to provide an ethical framework for conflict transformation.
    • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
      Information about mission and activities of the Red Cross, including access to some full text materials.
    • Internet Resources on Genocide and Mass Killings
      Links and full text resources.
    • University of Minnesota Human Rights Library
      Comprehensive collection of full text documents on human rights issues with links to over 1200 other human rights sites. Site can be searched by keywords.
    • Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
      US-based NGO which works to ensure that the security and rights of children in armed conflicts around the world are protected. Compiles information about the impact of wars, civil war and armed conflict on children's rights and well-being in individual countries. Full-text country reports from about 2000 onwards plus recent press releases.
    • CIRI Human Rights Dataset contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for a wide range of internationally-recognized human rights for countries of all regime-types and from all regions of the world. The data set contains measures of government human rights practices, not human rights policies or overall human rights conditions (which may be affected by non-state actors).
  • Terrorism and Counter - Intelligence
    • Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies
      BCISS exists to research key aspects of intelligence and security questions, publish its findings widely and promote teaching and further research in the field.
    • Center for the Study of Intelligence
      The Center conducts research into all aspects of intelligence activities. Online full-text access to its journal, Studies in Intelligence, its Bulletin, and other books and monographs.
    • Documents on Terrorism
      Collection of resolutions, testimony, declarations and other documents from a number of official sources. Part of the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.
    • Intelligence Gathering (RAND)
      Useful full-text documents on terrorism and intelligence
  • Data and statistics

    Data and statistics play a crucial role in Social Science research. This page lists some of the major sets of data available, by region covered. In addition there are also some Chinese language statistical databases.

    SOAS Library subscribes to a number of databases, such as DataStream and UK Data Service- which provides IMF data, International Energy Agency data, International Social Survey and OECD data. For details, please consult this listing.

    There are also many free sources of statistics on the web
    • Guardian Data Store
      A directory of useful data sets that can be used to build applications.

    • UN Data
      Search UN statistical databases through a single entry point.

    • List of National Statistics Offices
      UN List of National Statistics Offices.
    • Zanran
      A search engine for data and statistics that focuses primarily on finding data presented in numerical or tabular form.

    • Quandl 
      A freely available index of over 7 million time-series datasets, which pulls together its data from over 400 freely available sources.
    • BREAD: The Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development
    • CIRI Human Rights Dataset contains standards-based quantitative information on government respect for a wide range of internationally-recognized human rights for countries of all regime-types and from all regions of the world. The data set contains measures of government human rights practices, not human rights policies or overall human rights conditions (which may be affected by non-state actors).
  • Public Opinion and Surveys
    • UK Data Service: includes World Values Survey, Young Lives Survey, Afrobarometer, Arab Barometer, AsiaBarometer and Asian Barometer Survey.

    • Global Attitudes Project: a series of worldwide public opinion surveys that encompasses a broad array of subjects.

    • World Public Opinion: consortium of research centres studying public opinion on international issues in their respective countries.

    • Gallup: data driven news based on US and world polls.

    • Mansfield Asian Public Opinion Poll Database: English translations of key policy-related issues from major media organizations and other agencies in Japan, South Korea, and China
  • Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
  • Demographic information
  • Country-Level Information
    • EIU CountryData contains over 280 variables, divided into the following major categories: Gross domestic product, Fiscal and monetary indicators, Demographics and income, Foreign payments, External debt stock, External debt service, External trade, Quarterly, and for some countries, Monthly indicators. Covering 150 countries, this powerful database contains more than a million individual data points-covering over 280 series and running from 1980 to 2008. Updated monthly.
    • Business Source Complete contains some country reports.
    • UK Data Service is a comprehensive source of data, covering key economic and social data, both quantitative and qualitative. Including World Development Indicators, OECD, ILO, IMF and UN data.
    • CIA World Factbook provides basic country level data produced for US policymakers and coordinated throughout the US Intelligence Community.
    • BBC News Country Profiles provide basic information on topics such as press freedom and key events, alongside audio and video clips from BBC archives.
    • UN Data contains lots of UN metrics for different countries- ranging from agricultural production to the World Statistics Pocketbook.
    • Global Edge Insights by Country statistical data for nearly every country around the world. In addition to statistics, historical, economic, and political conditions are available.
    • A M Best is a global credit rating agency with a unique focus on the insurance industry. They produce free short briefing papers about the various risks of investing in countries.
    • Coface a French company specialising in export credit insurance, provides limited economic data for countries- including the option to run a brief comparision.