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Research Guides for Writing Seminars

WRI 146-147 Moral Responsibility & American Foreign Policy

John J. Hernandez
Politics & U.S. Government Documents Librarian
Office: A-14-J-2 Firestone Library
Phone: (609) 258-3209

Background on U.S. Foreign Policy


  • Annual Review of Political Science (PU only)
    The Annual Review provides scholarly essays on current topics written by respected researchers in the field of political science. You can browse the current issue as well as an archive of earlier issues. See the Annual Reviews in other social sciences to find additional essays on topics relevant to politics.
  • A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy.
    Publisher: Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1993.
    Location: General & Humanities Reference (DR)
    Call Number: JA71 .C565 1993
  • Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy.
    Publisher: New York: Facts On File, 2004.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC). Firestone
    Call Number: E183.7 .H28 2004
  • Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy. 2nd. Ed.
    Publisher: New York: Scribner, 2002.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC). Firestone
    Call Number: E183.7 .E52 2002
  • Encyclopedia of American Foreign Relations.
    Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC). Firestone
    Call Number: E183.7 .E53 1997
  • Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace & Conflict.
    Publisher: San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1999.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC). Firestone
    Call Number: HM886 .E53 1999
  • Historical Encyclopedia of U.S. Presidential Use of Force, 1789-2000.
    Publisher: Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.
    Location: Social Science Reference Center (SSRC)
    Call Number: E176.1 .H56 2001
  • International Encyclopedia of Social & Behavioral Science (PU only)
    Aims to capture the "state of the art" of the social and behavioral sciences, expanding its focus to include related biological fields, such as evolutionary science, genetics, cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, and health. Topics include anthropology, archaeology, demography, economics, education, geography, history, law, linguistics, philosophy, political science, psychiatry, psychology, and sociology.
  • Oxford Reference Online (PU only)
    This convenient web resource brings together online versions of 100 well-known and trusted dictionaries and reference books such as the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, Dictionary of Political Biography, Dictionary of the Social Sciences, and Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.
  • Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (PU only)
    Provides full-text articles with current bibliographies on virtually every aspect of philosophy, including Anglo-American, ethical and political, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, continental, and contemporary philosophy.
Background Information on Iraq


  • 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.
  • Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East.
    Publisher: New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1996.
    Location: General and Humanities Reference (DR)
    Call Number: DS43 .E53 1996
  • Historical Dictionary of Islam.
    Publisher: Lanham, MD; London: Scarecrow Press, 2001.
    Location: Firestone (F)
    Call Number: BP50 .A33 2001
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Islam.
    Publisher: Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
    Location: General and Humanities Reference (DR)
    Call Number: BP40 .O95 2003
  • 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
  • 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
  • Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East.
    Publisher: Jerusalem: Jerusalem Publishing House, 1999.
    Location: Firestone Library (F)
    Call Number: DS62.8 .P64 1999b
  • 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.
  • 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 in the Library


The Main Catalog is your primary tool for finding books in the Princeton University Library. 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. For more tips on using the Main Catalog see the Help Page.

I typically advise using the Guided Search, especially since most attempts to discover what the Library holds on a topic will involve a complex keyword search. The Guided Search allows you to search combinations of keywords and phrases in more than one field within the catalog. You can combine search terms with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and by using the pull-down menu options (all of these, any of these, as a phrase). You can also limit your search to particular fields, such as the title, author, subject, and publisher. Break your topic up into its component concepts and construct searches for each concept individually, then combine the conceptual searches together to approximate your topic.

When you get some results, use the Long View feature to display the full record. Displaying the full record exposes more detail, including the subject headings that were assigned to that item. Look at the subject headings and see how they describe your topic. You can do follow-up searches using these subject headings to get related items. Here are some subject headings you could use to find material related to your research topics:

  • Iraq--Foreign relations--United States
  • Iraq--Military relations--United States
  • Iraq--Politics and government--1991-2003
  • Iraq--Politics and government--2003-
  • United States--Foreign relations--2001-
  • United States--Foreign relations--Iraq
  • United States--Foreign relations--Philosophy
  • United States--Military relations--Iraq
  • Democratization--Iraq
  • Economic assistance, American--Iraq
  • Internal security--Iraq
  • Iraq War, 2003
  • Just war doctrine
  • Postwar reconstruction--Iraq
  • War on Terrorism, 2001
  • Weapons of mass destruction--Iraq

To limit your searches to those works that deal with issues of morality, try adding the sub-heading --Moral and ethical aspects to the search.

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 information on the call numbers used at Princeton and for help with locating a book in Firestone, see the Library Call Numbers & Locations page.


Finding Journal Articles


The following databases provide references to many scholarly journal articles and papers. You should take a similar approach to searching in the databases as you would in the Main Catalog. See this sample search strategy for using an article database. Start off with keyword searches expressing your topic, review those items that look relevant, then exploit the details within those entries to help lead you to other articles. Pay attention to the subject headings (typically called "descriptors") to see how the database describes your topic and use them to find related articles.

General & Multi-disciplinary Databases:

  • 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 scholarship from 1991 onward that includes working papers from university research institutes, NGO occasional papers, foundation-funded research projects, conference proceedings, books, journals, and policy briefs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Philosopher's Index (PU only)
    Provides citations to articles and books in all areas of philosophy. This is considered to be the most comprehensive philosophy database. Covers articles published back to 1940. This database can be helpful for finding articles that discuss the philosophical and ethical contexts of just war theory, intervention, and international relations in general. Very few articles dealing with Iraq specifically (only about 50 or so can be found when searching for Iraq or Iraqi).
  • RAND Publications
    A nonprofit public policy research institution established after World War II to study national security, in the 1960s RAND added domestic policy problems to its research agenda. Current areas of research and analysis include national defense, education and training, health care, criminal and civil justice, labor and population, science and technology, community development, international relations, and regional studies. The publications database goes back to 1946, with online versions of many documents available generally as of 1998. See the RAND Publications Research Guide for more help in locating RAND publications held in Princeton libraries.
  • 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.
  • StratFor (PU only)
    Founded in 1996, StratFor (short for “Strategic Forecasting”) provides up-to-date geopolitical analysis and forecasts focused on international political, economic, and security issues.
  • 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 web sites. Covers 1975-present.
Finding News Sources


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.

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.

Official Press Releases:

  • Central Intelligence Agency
    The Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act by President Truman. The National Security Act charged the Director of Central Intelligence with coordinating the nation’s intelligence activities and correlating, evaluating and disseminating intelligence that affects national security. Take a look at the Press Room section in the left-hand column of the page.
  • Department of Defense
    The DoD is responsible for providing the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of the United States. See the Defend America page, which is the DoD's official site for comprehensive news of the War on Terror, and the section on press resources. See also the individual armed forces pages: Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
  • Department of State
    The State Department advises the President in the formulation and execution of foreign policy. Their primary objective in the conduct of foreign relations is to promote the long-range security and well-being of the United States. The State Department website can be a good source for press releases concerning recent events in U.S. foreign relations. See also their special page on Iraq from the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
  • White House
    The official web site of the White House. Be sure to see the sections on news, the Renewal in Iraq, and major speeches on the War on Terror.
  • National Security Council
    Established by the National Security Act of 1947, the NSC is the President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Check out the section on News Releases and Speeches.

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Page last updated: February 27, 2006

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