Building Peace

 UN and Banner of Peace stamp (1986) via Wikimedia Commons.

Research Guide

Welcome! This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research for Building Peace.

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

Personal Librarian

Vani Natarajan
208C Lehman




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 catalog records of search results.  Start by entering concepts and/or the name of the country you are investigating.  For example, if you're interested in women's roles in peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, try:
peacebuilding "Sri Lanka" wom*n
Note the use of the quotes to search words together as a phrase, as well as the use of the asterisk as a wildcard symbol (wom*n searches for women and woman).

From the list of results, click on a title and look at the other subject headings listed.

If your research involves legal texts, don't forget to search Pegasus, the catalog of the Columbia Law Library, directly. 
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: 
peacebuilding "Sri Lanka" wom*n
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. 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.
CIAO Columbia international affairs online "publishes a wide range of scholarship from 1991 onward that includes working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals and policy briefs."
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. 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 provides full text of back issues from core scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences from the earliest issues to within a few years of current publication. Users may search the full-text or citations/abstracts, or may browse by journal title or discipline. Limit search to political science titles, or other relevant disciplines (e.g., anthropology) using the Advanced Search menu.
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.

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.

Selected List of International Organizations

Note: You may also wish you use the search engine HURISearch to explore local and/or grassroots organizations doing peacebuilding work.

Last updated January 25, 2016