Aid, Politics, and Violence in Africa

Instructor: Severine Autesserre

Personal Librarian: TBD. If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.



CLIO is the search and discovery system for the Columbia University Libraries. For tips on how to the QuickSearch feature works and what it searches, consult the QuickSearch guide


Tips on Finding Books

One strategy for finding books in CLIO is to start with keywords related to your research, then look at the subject headings that are listed in the catalog record.  Start by entering concepts and/or the name of the country you are investigating.  For example:
"Peace-building" nigeria
From the list of results, click on a title, such as "Invitation to peace and conflict management in Nigeria"and look at the other subject headings listed. You can click on the subject heading to find books on related topics.  
If you are researching a topic that covers law or involves legal research, please note that the Columbia Law Library is now searchable through CLIO, but to check the status of a book (whether or not it is checked out or available), it is necessary to click on the link to Pegasus, the catalog of the Columbia Law Library. 
If you are researching a topic that covers education, please be aware that the collections of the Columbia Teachers College Gottesman Library is not included in CLIO.  Be sure to consult the Gottesman Libraries' catalog when searching for education-related books and other materials. 
Also keep in mind that if a book is checked out or not in held by any Columbia Library, you can request the book through BorrowDirecta consortium of the libraries of Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale, in addition to select libraries of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Chicago. Items requested through BorrowDirect are typically delivered within 3 to 4 business days with a 6-week loan period + one 6-week renewal.


Tips on Finding Articles

Use a similar strategy when looking for articles on your topic. For example, enter: 
"Peace-building" Afghanistan
At the list of results, you can use the facets on the lefthand side of the screen to narrow your results to "Scholarly publications only."  This will help you find articles from journals that have gone through a rigourous peer review process. 

Select List of Related Journals


Additional Article Databases    

Africa-wide Information combines content from several databases in African Studies, including the Index to South African Periodicals, IBISCUS (The Africa Institute Database), Media Africa, and African Healthline . You can search through over 3.5 million citations and abstracts to journal articles, research reports, conference proceedings, grey literature, books, monographs, theses and dissertations, dating back as far as the 16th century, with many articles in full text. 
Alt-Press Watch provides full text access to articles from over 210 alternative and independent press publications, including newspapers, magazines and journals. Subject areas covered include politics, arts and culture, environment, religion, labor, and literature. Coverage extends as far back as 1970.
Contemporary Women's Issues provides full text access to journal and magazine articles, book reviews, research reports, and fact sheets on issues relating to women. Contents comprise work in the social sciences as well as the humanities. Coverage spans the years from 1992 to the present.
EconLit provides access to economic research dating back to 1969. Contains journal articles, books, collective volume articles, dissertations, working papers, and full text book reviews from the Journal of Economic Literature.
GenderWatch provides mostly full text access to articles, with some abstracts. A wide range of sources on the topics of feminism, women’s studies, gender studies, and LGBTQ Studies are represented here. 
JSTOR includes page images of key scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences, with a particular strength in Languages and Literatures. Coverage spans the mid-19th century to the present.
PAIS International includes references to more than 460,000 journal articles, books, government documents, statistical sources, grey literature, research reports, conference proceedings, and publications of international agencies. Coverage from 1915 to the present. 
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts contains abstracts of books and articles from professional journals and major news magazines, devoted to North American and international politics.

Data and Reports

Armed Conflict Database covers international and internal conflicts, as well as terrorism, incl. information on refugees and returnees, internally displaced persons, weapons used and their flows, fatalities, costs, historical backgrounds, and timelines. Users can generate reports, download data, and browse through year-by-year analysis and fact sheets online.

Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs are reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events. 

CountryWatch provides comprehensive and up-to-date political,economic, cultural, business, and environmental information. Country Wire provides current country-specific news. 

Economist Intelligence Unit includes full text access to the Economist, as well as Country ReportsCountry DatasCountry MonitorCountry ForecastCountry Finance, and Country Commerce.

FAOSTAT is a collection of global food and agricultural statistics.

Global Market Information Database (GMID) contains over a million demographic, economic and marketing statistics for 205 countries worldwide. The database also contains 6-year historic market size data for more than 330 consumer products in 52 countries, plus 5-year forecasts.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Data and Statistics includes a range of time series data on IMF lending, exchange rates and other economic and financial indicators. provides analysis of events and trends in political, security and military affairs with a detailed breakdown of global military and political structures for reference. 

OECD iLibrary is a portal for the online publications portal of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Rand Reports contains citations and abstracts for Rand publications, 1946-1997; full text, 1998-present.

UNdata includes statistical time series for countries from around the world covering a wide range of economic and socio-demographic topics.

U. S. State Department Reports include facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations of independent states, some dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty. 
USAID "Greenbook" provides a complete historical record of all foreign assistance provided by the United States to the rest of the world. It is a companion to the annual report to Congress, U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants, Obligations and Loan Authorizations—commonly known as the Greenbook.
World Databank is a complilation of a number of World Bank data products, including Global Development Finance (GDF) and World development indicators (WDI). 

News, Legal and Government Information and Analysis  posts over 700 stories daily in English and French and offering a diversity of multi-lingual streaming programming as well as a 400.000-article searchable archive (which includes the archive of Africa News Service dating from 1997). Fully accessible ONLY on campus
Proquest Congressional Publications indexes information produced by or pertaining to the United States Congress from 1789 to the present.
Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS) provides access to indexed full text previously classified U.S. government documents.
Digital National Security Archive includes more than 80,000 of the most important declassified documents regarding critical U.S. policy decisions. There are 36 complete collections, each offering specialized insights.
HeinOnline provides full text online access to legal journals and a wide variety of official U.S. government publications.
LexisNexis Academic contains access to hundreds of information sources including the full text of newspapers, magazines, wire services, newsletters, journals, and broadcast transcripts.
UN Treaty Collection provides access to over 50,000 full text bilateral and multilateral treaties.
World News Connection is the continuation of FBIS Daily Reports, above. 1996-present.
World Politics Review is a daily online publication and resource for foreign policy professionals and readers with a serious interest in international politics and foreign affairs.

Select International Organizations




Research and Documentation Online by Diana Hacker (Bedford Handbook), covers citation formats in the APA, Chicago, MLA, and Turabian styles.

Zotero is a free tool for managing citations, organizing research, storing documents,sharing your references with others, and creating fomatted bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations. For detailed tips on installing and using Zotero, consult the library's Zotero guide.