NES 265 / POL 268
Political & Economic Development
of the Middle East

Research Guide created by
John J. Hernandez
Politics Librarian, Firestone Library

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias


Dictionaries and encyclopedias clarify terminology that can help in searching for books and articles, as well as developing a general understanding of your field. Dictionaries provide definitions and usage of terms. Encyclopedias provide more in-depth explanations of key individuals, events, and concepts. The following titles provide clarification of political, economic, and development terminology specific to the Middle East.


  • Dictionary of Development: Third World Economy, Environment, Society.
    Publisher: New York: Garland Pub., 1990.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC)
    Call Number: HC59.7 .D513 1990
  • Historical Dictionary of Aid and Development Organizations.
    Publisher: Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1996.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC)
    Call Number: HC60 .A738 1996
  • Historical Dictionary of Islam.
    Publisher: Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2001.
    Location: Firestone (F)
    Call Number: BP50 .A33 2001
  • The International Development Dictionary.
    Publisher: Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1991.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC)
    Call Number: HF1359 .F79 1991
  • The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics.
    Publisher: New York: Stockton Press, 1987.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC)
    Call Number: HB61 .N49 1987
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Islam.
    Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
    Location: General and Humanities Reference (DR)
    Call Number: BP40 .O95 2003
  • The Political Dictionary of Modern Middle East.
    Publisher: Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994.
    Location: Near East Collection (SY)
    Call Number: DS43 .K67 1994
  • A Popular Dictionary of Islam.
    Publisher: London: Curzon Press, 1992.
    Location: Firestone Library (F)
    Call Number: BP40 .N48 1992b


  • Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East.
    Publisher: New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1996.
    Location: General and Humanities Reference (DR)
    Call Number: DS43 .E53 1996
  • Handbook of Development Economics.
    Publisher: New York: North-Holland, 1988-1995.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC)
    Call Number: HD82 .H275 1988
  • The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World.
    Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
    Location: General and Humanities Reference (DR)
    Call Number: DS35.53 .O95 1995
  • Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East.
    Publisher: Jerusalem: Jerusalem Publishing House, 1999.
    Location: Firestone Library (F)
    Call Number: DS62.8 .P64 1999b
Background Information


Your assignment calls for you to choose one Mid-east country and explore a specific development issue. The following resources provide background information on the political and economic development of many countries. Use these to gain some understanding of the political and economic situations in your country.

  • EIU Country Reports & Profiles (PU only)
    The Economist Intelligence Unit is considered to be a definitive source of business intelligence. The EIU annual country profiles are updated by monthly country reports to provide detailed information on political and economic trends for 180 countries worldwide. Each includes annual and quarterly economic indicators, economic forecasts, information on domestic politics, international relations, economic growth, and foreign trade. 1996 forward are available online, earlier profiles and reports in paper are held in Firestone, check the catalog for more information.
  • Europa World (PU only)
    The online version of the indispensable Europa World Year Book published since 1926. Europa provides detailed up-to-date surveys of over 250 countries and territories, a comprehensive listing of over 1,650 international organizations, directory information, and current analysis. Includes essential names and addresses and other information covering such areas as a country's constitution, government, legislature, political organizations, diplomatic representation, religion, media, finance, trade, industry, transport, and tourism.
  • Global Development Finance.
    Publisher: Washington, DC: World Bank. Annual.
    Location: Firestone (F)
    Call Number: HG4517 .I51
    Library Has: 1975-present
    Current Volume: Social Science Ready Reference (SSRC)
    Formerly the World Debt Tables, this is the World Bank’s annual review of trends of financial flows to developing countries, as well as projections of the global outlook in light of current global geopolitical uncertainties. The Summary and Country Tables provide comprehensive statistical data for 138 countries that report debt under the World Bank Debtor Reporting System, and summary data for regions and income groups. The data are also available online, see GDF Online.
  • Freedom in the World.
    Publisher: New York: Freedom House. Annual.
    Location: Firestone (F)
    Call Number: JC571 .xG3
    Library Has: 1978-present
    Current Volume: SSRC Ready Reference
    Since 1972, Freedom House has published an annual assessment of the state of freedom in all countries and select territories. Individual countries are evaluated based on a checklist of questions on political rights and civil liberties derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each country is assigned a rating for political rights and a rating for civil liberties. The combined average of each country's ratings determines an overall status of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free. See for more information, including publications and country ratings.
  • Human Development Report.
    Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press. Annual.
    Location: United Nations Collection (UN)
    Call Number: HD72 .H85
    Library Has: 1990-present
    Produced by the United Nations Development Programme, the HDR series advocates a shift in the development debate away from a sole concern with economic growth toward a balanced concern for equity, sustainability, productivity and empowerment. The report's Human Development Index (HDI), offers an alternative to GNP as a measure of development. In addition to the global report, there are national, subnational, and regional reports for 135 countries. See the UNDP's Human Development Report page for more details.
  • Political Handbook of the World.
    Publisher: Binghamton, NY: CSA Publications. Annual.
    Location: Firestone (F)
    Call Number: 7560.729
    Library Has: 1928-1970
    Call Number: JF37 .P6
    Library Has: 1975-present
    Current Volume: SSRC Ready Reference
    The Handbook provides essential political information about every country in the world, including heads of government, cabinet members, leaders and programs of political parties, representation in national legislatures, news media, and membership in international organizations. Its primary focus is on government and development of the country's political climate.
  • Background Notes
    Factual publications prepared by the staff of the U.S. State Department that contain information on all the countries of the world with which the United States has relations. Each report contains information about the country's people, history, government, political conditions, economy, foreign relations, relations with the U.S., travel, and business. These reports are updated periodically.
  • The Statesman's Yearbook.
    Publisher: New York: St. Martin's Press. Annual.
    Location: Firestone (F)
    Call Number: JA51 .S7
    Library Has: 1876-
    Current Volume: SSRC Ready Reference
    Similar to the Political Handbook, the Yearbook also provides detailed information about all the countries of the world. Its focus is on social and development indicators. Each entry includes a small map for quick geographical orientation, as well as a list of references for further reading.
  • World Development Report.
    Publisher: Washington, DC: World Bank. Annual.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC)
    Call Number: HC59.7 .W6
    Library Has: 1978-present
    This annual report discusses the state of the world economy and prospects for the next decade. Recent volumes have been dedicated to particular themes such as the environment, health investment, and poverty. The statistical appendix, World Development Indicators, provides tables of economic data that allow the researcher to compare countries, see WDI Online.
  • World Factbook
    Publisher: Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Annual.
    Location: Firestone (F)
    Call Number: G122 .U56a
    Library Has: 1981-present
    Current Volume: SSRC Ready Reference
    This annual publication of the Central Intelligence Agency provides profiles of countries throughout the world. Each country profile begins with a brief historical background and includes information about geography, population, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues.
Finding Books


The Main Catalog is your primary tool for finding books in the Princeton University Libraries that deal with Middle East development issues. You can also use the catalog to find other materials, including videos, sound recordings, internet sites, and journals (the journals themselves- not individual articles). The Main Catalog provides two search modes: Basic Search and Guided Search.

Use Basic Search when...
Use Guided Search when...
  • You know the exact title of the item, author's name, subject heading, or call number
  • You want to do a complex keyword search
  • You want to do a simple keyword search anywhere within the catalog record
  • You want to do a keyword search in one or more specific fields

Keyword searching is best used when you don't know the exact title, author's name, or subject heading. Use keywords especially when you want to discover what items the library has for your topic, as this allows you to express the topic in your own words.

Try searching the name of your country plus "development" or "developing." Once you find an item that seems relevant to your topic, be sure to use the Long View feature to see the full record displaying the subject headings that describe the subject matter of the item. You can do follow-up searches using these subject headings to get related items. Here are some examples of additional keywords to try:

  • civil society
  • education
  • economic development
  • economic growth
  • environment
  • health care
  • human rights
  • nongovernmental organizations
  • poverty
  • women

Another very useful strategy is to use the name of the country you are studying as a subject heading, sub-divided by aspects related to development. Here are some examples:

  • Country Name History
  • Country Name Politics and government
  • Country Name Foreign relations
  • Country Name Foreign economic relations
  • Country Name Economic conditions
  • Country Name Social conditions

If you find your subject searches are not yielding good results, you might want to look at the Library of Congress Subject Headings located at the reference desk. This set of large red volumes provides a listing of the appropriate subject headings that correspond to various topics. Be sure to ask the staff at the reference desk for assistance.

When you find an item you'd like to obtain, be sure to pay attention to the location, call number, and status as indicated in the catalog record. See the list of location codes for help determining in which library collection the item is held. The call number shows where in the collection the item should be, and the status tells you whether the book is available or not. For more tips on using the Main Catalog see the Help Page.

Beyond the Main Catalog, you have access to other Princeton Library catalogs, as well as regional and worldwide catalogs, via the Library Catalogs Page. If you find items outside of Princeton, you can request these be sent here via Interlibrary Loan or Borrow Direct.

Finding Articles


There are several databases that are useful for locating journal articles, book chapters, working papers, etc. about the Middle East and development. Listed below are some selected resources that can help you get started. You may also want to consult the many useful resources listed on the Near Eastern Studies and Politics Databases pages. Also, here's a helpful search strategy that works for most article index databases.

General & Multi-disciplinary Databases:

  • JSTOR (PU only)
    JSTOR is a special collection of academic journals that have been made available in full text online. The titles covered in JSTOR range back to the very first issue, but only go forward to about 3-5 years ago. You can browse and search across different subject areas and journal titles. Note: While JSTOR is a very useful collection of journals, it is not by any means comprehensive. Be sure to also search for your topic in the other article databases listed here.
  • EBSCO Academic Search Premier (PU only)
    This is a multi-disciplinary full text database covering over 7,000 scholarly and peer-reviewed journals in nearly every area of academic study including: social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language & linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and more. Coverage goes back to 1975.
  • Wilson OmniFile (PU only)
    Multi-disciplinary database providing select full text articles, abstracts, and indexing. Consists of databases for scholarly sources in agriculture, applied science and technology, art, biology, business, education, general science, humanities, law, library and information science, social sciences, as well as popular appeal titles.
  • ProQuest Research Library (PU only)
    Provides (mostly) full-text access to a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals from 1986-present.

Specialized Databases:

  • CIAO - Columbia International Affairs Online (PU only)
    CIAO publishes online a wide range of international affairs scholarship since 1991, including working papers from university research institutes, NGO occasional papers, foundation-funded research projects, conference proceedings, books, journals, and policy briefs.
  • EconLit (PU only)
    Provides citations and selected abstracts of journal articles, books, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings and book reviews dating back to 1969. Covers topics including regional and international economics, urban economics, economic development, fiscal and monetary theory, business and public finance.
  • Historical Abstracts (PU only)
    This database has long been recognized as the leading bibliography providing unmatched coverage of world history (excluding North America) dealing with time periods from 1450 to the present. It covers approximately 2,000 journals, as well as books and dissertations published worldwide since the mid 1950s in history and related areas, including anthropology, genealogy, multicultural studies, political science, and sociology.
  • Index Islamicus (PU only)
    Produced by the Islamic Bibliography Unit at Cambridge University Library, this database indexes literature on Islam, the Middle East, and the Muslim world from a variety of disciplines, including accounting, archaeology, the arts, economics, education, geography, history, Islam, law, literature, science, philosophy, politics, religion, theology, travel, and zoology. Records included in the database go back to 1906.
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (PU only)
    Compiled by the British Library of Political & Economic Science of the London School of Economics & Political Science, this database provides bibliographic information from an international selection of publications (including over 2,600 journals) in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and anthropology. Covers 1951-present.
  • International Political Science Abstracts (PU only)
    Provides abstracts in English or French to articles selected from over 1,000 international journals. Topics covered include political science method and theory, political thinkers and ideas, governmental and administrative institutions, political process, international relations, and national and area studies. Covers 1989-present.
  • JOLIS Library Catalog
    JOLIS is the joint library network catalog of the 13 World Bank and International Monetary Fund libraries in Washington, DC, and provides detailed coverage of literature in the fields of international economics, development, and finance. This catalog includes references to books, journal titles, journal articles, working papers, conference proceedings, and technical reports, with links to full-text items when available.
  • PAIS International (PU only)
    Provides citations to articles, books, reports, and select government documents on U.S. and international public policy issues. Generally considered to be a comprehensive index to policy literature. Covers 1972-present.
  • Policyfile (PU only)
    Provides indexing and abstracts of research publications addressing the complete range of public policy research. PolicyFile draws its content from public policy think tanks, university research programs, research organizations, and trade publishers. The database consists of over 50,000 abstracts dating from 1990 to present, with some full-text where available and links to organizational home pages.
  • Sociological Abstracts (PU only)
    Indexing and abstracting of the world's literature in sociology and related disciplines, both theoretical and applied. Covers 2,500 journals, conference papers, dissertations, and book reviews. Includes materials in 30 languages and covers works published 1963-present. This resource may help you to locate articles on the social aspects of democratic development in various countries.
  • World Bank e-Library (PU only)
    A full-text database of over 1,200 World Bank titles, including each new book as it is published. The publications are searchable by broad subject or by geographic regions.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (PU only)
    Worldwide provides citations and abstracts of the international literature in political science, including journal articles, books and book chapters, dissertations, and reviews. It also covers such areas as international relations, law, sociology, economics, and public policy. Provides references to reliable websites. Covers 1975-present.
Finding News


News sources can be very useful for finding primary coverage of specific events, as well as feature articles and editorials related to your topic. For additional resources, be sure to consult the Newspaper Indexes page.

Contemporary News (mid-1980s to present):

  • Lexis Nexis Academic (PU only)
    Provides full text access to news from across the U.S. and around the world. Coverage of most newspapers goes back to the mid 1980s, but varies widely. Also provides access to business, legal, and medical journals, as well as corporate financial information. Click on News in the red bar to begin your search.
  • NewsBank Full-Text Newspapers (PU only)
    Provides full-text of many major national and regional newspapers from the United States and around the world.
  • Factiva (PU only)
    Database from Dow Jones & Reuters that provides full text access to various newspapers and news wire services.
  • ProQuest Newspapers (PU only)
    Provides indexing and full text of the Wall Street Journal (1984- ) and the New York Times (1980- ) and abstracts only of USA Today (1989- ).
  • Google - News
    Google News pulls together related headlines and photos from approximately 4,500 news sources worldwide, automatically arranging them to present the most relevant news first. Google News enables you to see how different news organizations around the world report the same events. Stories are updated continuously throughout the day, making this an especially useful source for breaking news.

Historical News (back to mid-1800s):

  • Historical New York Times (ProQuest Historical Newspapers) (PU only)
    Provides retrospective coverage of the New York Times going back to the first issue (1851-2004) in full text. Search by keywords and date.
  • Historical Wall Street Journal (ProQuest Historical Newspapers) (PU only)
    Provides retrospective coverage of the Wall Street Journal going back to the first issue (1889-1990) in full text. Search by keywords and date.
  • Historical Washington Post (ProQuest Historical Newspapers) (PU only)
    Provides retrospective coverage of the Washington Post going back to the first issue (1877-1991) in full text. Search by keywords and date.
  • Reader's Guide Retrospective (PU only)
    This retrospective online version of the ever-popular Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature contains comprehensive indexing of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the U.S. between the years 1890-1982.

Foreign News (1975-present):

  • Finding World Newspapers at Princeton
    This is a very helpful guide compiled by our History Librarian Elizabeth Bennett that offers some guidance on locating foreign newspapers of interest.
  • ABYZ News Links
    ABYZ News Links is a portal to online news sources from around the world. It is primarily composed of links to newspaper pages but also includes links to many broadcast stations, internet services, magazines, and press agencies. Be aware that the actual news sources you will ulimately find are likely not to be in English.
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service Electronic Index (PU only)
    Provides indexing to the Daily Reports of the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service. These reports include translated broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, periodicals, and government statements from nations around the world. Search by keyword, region and date.
    Note: This index only covers reports from 1975-1996, which are mostly available in microfiche with some in paper. Ask for help locating these reports at the Social Science Reference Center. For earlier material, contact me. For more recent material, see the World News Connection below.
  • World News Connection (PU only)
    Continues coverage of the FBIS reports mentioned above from 1996 to present, and with full text. The search functions are similar (by keyword, region, and date) with a "latest headlines" feature for monitoring current news.
NGO Funding


Your assignment requires you to prepare a proposal for establishing a non-governmental organization (NGO) to deal with a development issue in the country you are studying. Part of this assignment will be identifying potential sources of funding for such an organization. Below are some selected resources that are useful for finding sources of financial support.

  • Corporate Giving Directory.
    Published: Rockville, MD: Taft Group. Annual.
    Location: Stokes Library
    Call Number: HV97.A3 T29
  • Directory of International Economic Organizations.
    Publisher: Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 1997.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC)
    Call Number: HF1418.5 .S37 1997
  • The Foundation Directory.
    Published: New York: The Foundation Center. Annual.
    Location: General and Humanities Reference (DR) Ready Reference
    Call Number: HV97 .F82
  • The International Foundation Directory.
    Published: London: Europa Publications. Annual.
    Location: General and Humanities Reference (DR) Ready Reference
    Call Number: HV7 .I57
  • World Guide to Foundations.
    Published: München: K.G. Saur, 2001.
    Location: General and Humanities Reference (DR) Ready Reference
    Call Number: AS911 .A2 W66 2001q
  • National Directory of Corporate Giving.
    Published: New York: The Foundation Center, 2004.
    Location: Stokes Library
    Call Number: HG4028.C6 N374 2004
Useful Websites


  • British Library for Development Studies
    The home library of the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex, the BLDS is Europe's largest research collection on economic and social change in developing countries.
  • Development Organizations
    From Virginia Tech's Office of International Research, Education & Development, this page provides links to many development organizations, including NGOs, UN agencies, U.S. government sites, other national development organizations, and development institutes.
  • ELDIS Gateway to Development Information
    Electronic Development and Environment Information System provides access to a variety of information on development issues, with summaries and links to online documents, a directory of websites, databases, library catalogues, and email discussion lists. ELDIS is hosted by the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex and is funded primarily by the Danish International Development Agency.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization
  • International Affairs Resources - International Development
    Useful list of links from the WWW Virtual Library.
  • International Monetary Fund
  • International Relations Resources by Topic: Political Economy & Development
    Courtesy of Sandra Peterson, Director of Social Science Libraries and Information Services at Yale University Library.
  • The Middle East Institute
    Located in Washington, DC, the Middle East Institute provides a number of resources to keep the public objectively informed about the Middle East. This site provides access to the table of contents, abstracts, and select articles from The Middle East Journal. You can also access online policy briefs about current events in the region, descriptions of the Institute's monographs, and their online catalog of scholarly works in Middle Eastern studies.
  • Middle East NGOs Gateway Project (MENGOS)
    MENGOS is an Internet gateway containing information about nongovernmental organizations, funding agencies, events, projects, success stories of individuals as well as organizations, and other topics relevant to nongovernmental organizations across the Arab Middle East.
  • Middle East Research and Information Project
    MERIP was founded in 1971 to provide information and analysis on the Middle East to the media and the public. They publish the Middle East Report.
  • Middle East Studies Internet Resources
    Maintained by Frank Undlandherm, Middle East and Jewish Studies Librarian at Columbia University Libraries, this page is an on-going compilation of electronic bibliographic resources and research materials on the Middle East and North Africa available on the Internet.
  • Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
    Located in Tel Aviv, Israel, the Dayan center is an interdisciplinary research center devoted to the study of the modern history and contemporary affairs of the Middle East.
    OneWorld brings together more than 1,500 organizations from across the globe to promote sustainable development, social justice and human rights. The OneWorld network spans five continents and produces content in 11 different languages, published across its international site, regional editions, and thematic channels.
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • United Nations Economic & Social Development
    This site provides useful links to various organizational units of the UN related to economic and social development, including the five UN Economic Commissions: Africa (includes Egypt), Asia and the Pacific (includes many states of former Soviet Union), Western Asia (the Arab countries of the Middle East, includes Egypt), Europe (also includes many states of former Soviet Union), and Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • United States Agency for International Development
  • World Bank
  • World Trade Organization
MLA Style Guides


Your professor has specified that you are to use Modern Language Association (MLA) style for your papers. Here are some resources where you can get help using MLA style, including examples of how to cite various sources both in print and online.

  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed.
    Publisher: New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003.
    Location: SSRC Ready Reference
    Location: GHRD Ready Reference
    Location: Stokes Library
    Call Number: LB2369 .G53 2003
    The MLA Handbook is the authority on MLA documentation style. Widely adopted in high schools, colleges, and publishing houses, it treats every aspect of research writing, from selecting a topic to submitting the completed paper. The 6th edition is a complete, up-to-date guide to documentation style and online research.
  • MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 2nd ed.
    Publisher: New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1998.
    Location: GHRD Ready Reference
    Call Number: PN147 .G444 1998
    The MLA Style Manual is the standard guide for graduate students, teachers, and scholars in the humanities and for professional writers in many fields. The 2nd edition contains several added sections and updated guidelines on citing electronic works, including materials found on the web.
  • MLA Style FAQs
    A convenient list of frequently asked questions concerning MLA style, which includes some help on citing sources from the web.
  • MLA Style Sheet
    A concise guide to using MLA style in research papers.
  • Online! Citation Styles
    Covers citation styles for electronic resources in MLA, APA and Chicago styles.

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