Founded in 1943, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) for public policy research is a non-profit and a non-partisan institution dedicated to support research and education on issues of government, politics, economics, and social welfare. Its website posts publications, videos and transcripts of conferences, biographies of its scholars and fellows, as well as schedules of upcoming events. Short publications, papers and info on the institute’s activities are freely accessible and downloadable in pdf version, while full-text e-books are retrievable only up to the abstracts level. For upcoming events also slides and records in video format are available for free. In addition to this material, press releases, books reviews and speeches are available with high updating rate. Webpages are very rich in annotations and offer printer-friendly options. Clear categories and a well-structured interface permit easy navigation, and users are allowed to retrieve items through an efficient and advanced search engine, with possibility of sorting records by multiple criteria.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
A non-partisan institute for Public Policy Research
Annenberg Public Policy Center
A research center on media, communication, and public policy
Established in 1994, the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania conducts and disseminates research, hosts lectures and conferences, and convenes roundtable discussions that highlight important questions on the relationships between media, communication, and public policy. APPC’s work has informed the policy debate on key issues as campaign financing, children’s television, internet privacy, tobacco advertising, and the tone of public discourse in Washington. Scholars at the Policy Center have offered professional advice about covering difficult stories, including terrorist threats, suicide, and mental health. This website offers free access and downloading options to a vast amount of full-text documents. A simple search option is provided, along with several link pointing to related resources and RSS news feed subscription. The general content has a good updating rate, particularly the many news items — with great relevance for current affairs and political matters. Managed by a team of experts and professionals, the Center has offices in Philadelphia and Washington, and this website features an effective outline and an easy navigation, despite its lack of dynamic elements.
A research center on European systems of governance
Started in 1994 as a research program, Arena was later reorganized as a centre at the University of Oslo. It is an interdisciplinary centre for advanced studies on the dynamics of the changing political order of Europe and is engaged in various international networks. In Arena’s website users can find detailed and commented pages about the center’s activities, along with full-text proceedings of seminars and conferences. Its focus consists of a remarkable quantity of material on EU topics from three publication-series: the ARENA Working Papers, free and full-text pre-prints of research articles and chapters analysing and documenting the new European order of Governance from 1994 (also searchable through a common archive created by ERPA, the online cooperation between nine research institutions); the ARENA Reprints, a list of references of reprints of articles or chapters published in journals or books, mainly not for sale; and the ARENA Reports, a list of proceedings from workshops or conferences, project reports and master theses supervised at Arena, also available on request. Seminars, working papers and other material is always fresh and up-to-date, while most content can be downloaded for free. Although no advanced search option or specific navigation support are provided, a clear content structure and a simple interface enable an easy orientation to any user.
Argentine Center of International Studies
An organization focused on international relations
As non-partisan, independent and civil society organization based in Buenos Aires, the Argentine Center of International Studies (CAEI) aims to address and foster International Relations worldwide. Its activities are focused on the understanding of current world issues and the growing relationships between nations and countries. This website is available in four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French) and divided in sections reflecting eight geographical regions and ten areas of interest. Each section reflects a related program and provides specific information and documents, particularly working papers in various languages and on different topics, mostly available as pdf files. Also available for free downloading are a dozen of e-books, published mostly in Spanish, about such topics as today’s politics in Bolivia or China, and many Latin America-related topics. An event page features pictures and short summaries about past event hold by CAEI members and experts. Very interesting is the link page presentation: user can click anywhere on a world map to get a page with an extensive list of external links related to that region. Despite the lack of a search or help option, navigation is very easy and successful due to a simple but effective outline. Navigation and material retrieval are extremely easy even for non-experts.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
A project devoted to international politics, economics and cooperation
Founded in 1910, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Dealing with a full range of activities related to international politics, economics and cooperation, its work is dedicated to achieving practical results through research, publishing and, on occasion, creating new institutions and international networks. Carnegie Endowment research and materials support professors, students, librarians, and anyone doing research on international affairs. The site offers free access to books for course adoption, with tables of contents and sample chapters, as well as Carnegie papers, rich-in-text commentaries, policy analysis and press releases, in addition to a well classified library of selected online sources (such as The Carnegie Moscow Center and The Carnegie-Tsinghua). The entire project and content is managed by a professional team which does a great job in displaying a whole range of data in a comprehensive and clear way. Containing a huge amount of material (including some in Chinese and Arabic), the site’s design is clearly focused on tailoring the user’s needs.
Center for American Women and Politics
A unit of the Eagleton Institute supporting women in politics
The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) is a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at the State University of New Jersey. It collects and compiles information about women in government and politics and regularly convenes forums for women serving in state legislatures. CAWP also hosts other conferences and programs for women officeholders, besides offering education programs to prepare young women for public leadership. The center’s website, along with providing detailed info on the center mission, its staff and upcoming events, gathers the National Information Bank on Women in Public Office, as it is shown by the map ‘Women in Elective Office’ on the homepage. This is a growing database on current and past women officeholders and candidates, which offers timely and accurate summary information, specific demographic and political data on individual officeholders, and a picture of the trends and context in which women’s political history is being made. Records are downloadable in pdf format and cover around thirty years (from 1975). An easy-to-find online collection of syllabi for courses on women and politics and feminist theory is also available, as well as a good quantity of women studies-related working papers, reports, press releases, literature reviews, publications in specific sections. Updating frequency is high, mainly on a weekly basis.
Center for Governmental Studies
An initiative to foster government innovations
The Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) is a public-private partnership created in 1983 with the aim of contributing to improving the governance process. It is based in California, Los Angeles, and is supported by the University of Southern California as well as by private foundations. The CGS works with government agencies and community organizations in three main research areas: political reform, media and civic participation, sustainable communities by accessing the website users can find research reports, articles and book reviews on these three areas of study. After the two projects, which made CGS a pioneer for digital democracy (the Digital Democracy project and the Voting System Institute), the Center is now engaged in four main research areas: Ballot Initiatives, Campaign Finance, Political Reform and Redistricting Reform. All publications are available for free and easy to download in pdf format. A keyword, Google-powered search option allows users to easily locate any document, with an excellent updating rate particularly for news items and other articles. A comprehensive site map and a generally pleasant outline enable an effective navigation for any user.
Center for International Development
A International research center on sustainable development
Housed at the Kennedy School of Government of the Harvard University, the Center for International Development (CID) is a research center aiming at fostering cross-disciplinary studies related to sustainable international development. The Center’s research interests cover a large range of topics: globalization and development, political economy, science, environment and development. The institute’s website provides full descriptions of current research programs, as well as info about the center’s activities and upcoming events. Users are also allowed to access a database containing information on the center’s members, their interests and publications. A remarkable quantity of research material is provided from reports and working papers series, to digital books, datasets, and national and international statistical resources. Documents are accessible by all users completely for free, and can be retrieved and downloaded in their original format (in pdf, image and multimedia versions) along with annotations and metadata. The updating rate is quite good, on a weekly basis for some sections.The basic website design may not always be sufficiently clear for first-time users, providing few navigational tips, a sitemap and a simple keyword — even if the general orientation is very intuitive.
Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy
A center to encourage peaceful dialogue and co-existence
Based in Washington, the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy is a non-profit organization dedicated to studying Islamic and democratic political thought. It acts as a think-tank and research institute with the mission of propagating and publicizing democratic principles and ideals in the Muslim world. Its website provides a fair amount of full texts and large lists of external connections to websources relevant for understanding the relationship between Islam and democracy. Website contents include conference abstracts and proceedings, lecture transcripts, summaries and papers, as well as press releases and related media articles. Specific sections are also devoted to infos on the center’s research activities and on upcoming events. Records are provided with large annotations and are retrievable through keyword-based search engines. Users are allowed to download items in various formats, including audio formats, entirely free of charge. Although only basic navigational aids are provided for orientation, this website is not difficult to navigate even for non-experts.
Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress
A resource about US Presidency and related institutions
As a non-partisan and non-profit organization, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC) focuses on the understanding and functioning of the American Presidency and its related institutions. Located in Washington, it brings together experts from government, academia, and the corporate world on key issues concerning the Presidency. Although the CSP program change from time to time, all activities rest largely upon the following four pillars: presidential leadership, organizing for leadership, executive-legislative relations, public service. Hence, with its specific focus on US presidential institution, the CSP website shows a high pertinence to political science. It provides a good number of records free of charge in various formats (papers, articles, journal’s tables of contents, books, cover images), besides informing on the center’s mission, its activities and projects. A section is devoted to external links and a direct connection is provided to the Center’s journal, the “Presidential Studies Quarterly”, whose articles are available only by payment. Updating rate does not match the richness of contents and users can only save webpages and browse without sophisticated search options. The website does not give problems of navigation thanks to the simplicity of its interface.