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MUN research guide

A guide to sources and resources in the Robert College Library

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You need to know the country you are representing, its politics, economy, history, foreign policy, its views on the issues under discussion, and similar.  Whether you are using the internet or the library, good keywords will include the name of the country, and also specific and general terms for the issues: environment, disarmament, human rights and so on.  These keywords are just the start: as you learn more, so new keywords will suggest themselves, and perhaps ones you are already using will prove too narrow, too wide, or just no longer helpful.

You will find many useful sources and resources in the Robert College Library.  Periodicals provide up-to-date and contemporary information.  The books, and especially the annuals, may also provide up-to-date material, and useful multi-national statisticals, comparisons.


Any number of newspapers and periodicals besides those listed here will provide up to the minute stories, and the facts behind the news.  As well as Turkish and other language periodicals, you will find the listed titles of particular use when researching news, events, background facts, other points-of-view, and in-depth analyses of countries and regions:
International Herald Tribune

The Economist
The Guardian Weekly

The Nation
National Geographic
New Internationalist
World Press Review

U.N. Chronicle


Countries of the world and their leaders yearbook.  Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co.,  2002.
Includes Background Notes to the Countries and other valuable information.

Demographic yearbook.   New York : United Nations:, 1998.

The encyclopedia of democracy.  Washington, D.C. : Congressional Quarterly, c1995.

A global agenda : issues before the 50th General Assembly of the United Nations.  Lanham : University Press of America, 1995.

Gorman, Robert F.  Great debates at the United Nations : an encyclopedia of fifty key issues 1945-2000.  Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2001.

Hannam, June.  International encyclopedia of women's suffrage.  Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c2000.

Human rights : the essential reference.  Phoenix, Ariz. : Oryx Press, c1999.

Humana, Charles.  World human rights guide.  New York, N.Y. : Facts on File, c1992.

The Hutchinson guide to the world.  3rd ed.  Phoenix, Ariz. : Oryx Press, 1998.

Kinnear, Karen L.  Women in the Third World : a reference handbook.  Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c1997.

Kurian, George Thomas.  Encyclopedia of the Third World.  4th ed. New York : Facts on File, 1992-.

Marien, Michael.  World futures and the United Nations : an annotated guide to 250 recent books and reports.  Bethesda, Md. : World Future Society, 1995.

The Middle East and North Africa.  London : Europa, 2000.

The Oxford companion to politics of the world.  New York : Oxford University Press, 1993.

Political handbook of the world : governments and intergovernmental organizations.  Annual.  Binghamton : State U of NY, CSA Publications, 1927-.

State of the world.  NY : W.W.Norton, 2002.

Statistical handbook on poverty in the developing world. Phoenix, AZ : Oryx Press, 1999.

United Nations. Dept of Economic & Social Development Statistical Office.  Statistical yearbook.  37th ed.-.  NY : United Nations. Dept of Economic & Social DevelopmentStatistical Office, 1998.

The world guide 1999/2000 : a view from the south.  Millenium edition.  Oxford : Instituto del Tercer Mundo, 1999.

World resources, 2002-2004: decisions for the earth: balance, voice and power. Washington DC: World Resources Institute, 2003.

On-line databases

The library subscribes to several on-line databases which you'll find useful.  Access is by password; you can access them from the RC library home page.

CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online) includes:
working papers, journals, case studies, maps and fact sheets and other documents which can help you research countries and issues.

NewsBank, includes:
Special Reports : in-depth analyses of particular situtions and events;
Global NewsBank : news from newspapers, magazines, newswires and other sources;
UN Connections : full-text UN documents, UN issues, access to the UN news center, advice and links for MUN, and more.   (Ask for User Name and Password for home access)

Infotrac, includes:
Full-text articles from journals around the world.  (Ask for User Name and Password for home access)

Internet sites

African Union - formerly the Organization of African Unity.

Amnesty International - working to protect human rights worldwide

Background Notes
U.S. State Department web site - archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001.

Background Notes
updated site of the U.S. State Department

BBC NEWS | Country Profiles
Background facts to countries and organizations

CIA - The World Factbook
Much background to countries of the world

CIFP -- Country Indicators for Foreign Policy
statistics which guide foreign policy.

Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security
NGO.  Useful information on disarmament issues, publisher of the "Disarmament Times".

The Commonwealth

Council of Europe

Country Commercial Guides

Country Studies (Library of Congress)

Diplomacy Monitor
The latest communiqués, transcripts and news releases from around the world

European Union

Foreign Policy Association
Independent organization designed to inform Americans about international issues.

G8 Information Centre.

Global Gateway: World Culture & Resources (Library of Congress)
LoC links to international information sites and portals.

Global Policy Forum
This site monitors global policy making at the United Nations

Governments on the WWW

The Group of 77
promotes the economic interests and economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.

The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN)
Home of the biggest MUN Conference of them all.

Human Rights Internet: The Human Rights Databank
search by continent or search by issue/s

The Intelligence Network, LLC
news and documents from around the world

International Labour Organization - ILO Web site

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Not part of the UN system, but widely respected by governments and by NGOs, and in operation for more than 50 years.

International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology
published by UNHCR : the United Nations Refugee Agency; new online in December 2003.

Internet Public Library: International Government & Intergovernmental Groups

The Nation
Selected articles from The Nation, useful for foreign policy, U.S. politics, war and peace, etc.


New Internationalist
Reports on "issues of world poverty and inequality; (focuses) attention on the unjust relationship between the powerful and the powerless in both rich and poor nations."

NGO Watch
Data and analysis about NGOs and their work, compiled by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

NGO Watch : Treaties and International Organizations
Papers (mostly in .pdf format) on treaties, organizations, international law, and similar issues.

OffStats: Official Statistics on the Web

Organization of American States

OSCE: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
World's largest secuerity organization, "active in early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation".

Portals to the World, from the Library of Congress
Country by country links to major information sites

THIMUN's General Internet Links
Links to many useful sites, recommended by THIMUN itself.

UNHCR : the United Nations Refugee Agency

United Nations
Official UN site and, of course, links to all UN departments and agencies

U.S. Consulate General In Istanbul
From the local to the international, policies, issues, announcements, documents and more.

U.S. Department of State
The official website of the U.S. Government.

Visit a refugee camp
Multimedia tour – find out what it’s like

The White House
First place to find out more about America's policies.

World Factbook

World Statesmen
An encyclopedia of nations, colonies, international and religious organizations, and other polities mostly since the year 1700.  Country facts, maps, anthems, flags, links, and multiple indexes.


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John Royce, BA, MLib, ALA
Library Director, Robert College
Arnavutköy, TR-80820 Istanbul, Turkey.

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It was last revised on 16 April 2008.