Founded in 1989, the Center for the Study of Democracy is an interdisciplinary public policy institute dedicated to economic and political reforms in Bulgaria. Integrated with many partner organizations and composed by a large staff of scholars, it particularly aims at providing support for a successful European integration and shows a particular attention to the topics of anti-corruption policy and judicial reform. Available in various Western and Eastern European languages, its website provides updated news and information on the Center’s initiatives and upcoming events, besides offering an efficient archive for publication. Users are allowed to retrieve full-text books, reports, policy briefs and papers entirely free of charge, with possibility of locating documents through a keyword-based search engine and downloading records in pdf format. Moreover the high density of contents matches a good level of usability: roll-over menus and a site map enable an immediate orientation, while navigational tips support quick navigation and offers printer friendly versions. Linking feature represents an added value and a specific area is devoted to connections to pertinent external web-resources. Well-designed and rich in usability features, this website has also a great updating rate.
The Center for the Study of Democracy
A Bulgarian interdisciplinary institute on democracy and economy
The Centre for European Policy Studies
A research institute dedicated to European integration
Founded in 1983, the Centre for European Policy Studies is an independent policy research institute dedicated to policy research on themes related to European Union. The Center’s goal is to provide a forum for discussion among all stakeholders in the European policy process building a collaborative network of researchers, policy-makers and business across Europe. The Center’s website also collects commentaries and research material covering a wide variety of issues on the growth and development of the European Union. It contains a large amount of information about the center’s activities, news on upcoming events, conferences and seminars, as well as reports, working papers and views by leading experts on important issues related to European public policy. Items are presented with abstracts and detailed annotations, retrievable through a keyword-based engine and downloadable in pdf format free of charge. New material is posted quite regularly, particularly for upcoming events and commentaries. Its relevant number of records notwithstanding, a professional and clear content outline and a precise visual mapping enable a quick orientation. RSS news feed subscriptions are provided for CEPS books, articles and events.
The Independent Institute
Promoting ideas and debate for public policy
The mission of the Independent Institute is to address public policy research by redefining the debate over public issues through fostering new and effective directions for government reform. Its website maintains a comprehensive online archive of studies on a variety of issues, giving access to e-books, articles from the institute’s journal, the “Independent Review”, as well as to periodic reports, working papers, and other publications. Webpages are available both in English and Spanish, and each item, provided with annotations, can be located through a search engine or well-organized directories. While some content is free of charge and retrievable in their original format, books, DVDs and other material are presented with a summary and available for purchase. This applies also to several policy reports, articles, and audio-video programs. The website also presents detailed info on conferences, forums, and debates sponsored by the institute, which bring together scholars and policy experts addressing a vast range of policy issues. The Institute publishes a quarterly newsletter and sends out weekly commentaries. Also provided are detailed info about the Institute’s learning and research programs, seminars and upcoming and recent events. There are several topical website links, a simple keyword and a sitemap, under an effective design (even if sometime a bit clumsy).
The Interdisciplinary Centre for Comparative Research in the Social Sciences
A research centre promoting transnational research
As an international non-profit research institute, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Comparative Research in the Social Sciences, with centers in Paris and Wien, aims at promoting interdisciplinary and transnational research with comparative methodologies and an academic network, often working under the auspices of the European Union. The Centre’s activities cover the entire Europe. Its main fields of interest and research are: social policy analysis – social structures and integration; society, technology and research; environment and sustainability; transport policy evaluation and analysis. Some research papers, reports and other contributions are full-text available in pdf format and presented with abstract or annotations. The website also gives access to detailed information about the Centre and provides links to many affiliated organizations. A French version of the website is also available with details on the French ICCR component, the CIR. The website offers many help tools for an easy navigation (i.e. sitemap, browsing tips, search tools). Users can search a basic engine by keyword or browse lists of links.
The Jean Monnet Project
A collection of databases on EU economic and law integration
Under the Jean Monnet Project, the European Commission supports university initiatives aimed at creating teaching activities on the issue of European integration. Launched in 1990 the Jean Monnet Project’s focus is on Law, Economics, Political Science and History. Based at the Jean Monnet Center at NYU School of Law and acting as a common online access-point for researchers worldwide, this website is actually a collection of several databases, including teaching materials in European Law and Institutions, the Law of Regional Economic Integration in the American Hemisphere, the Law of World Trade, the World Wide European Integration Events Calendar, and the European Integration Current Contents pages. The European Journal of International Law and the European Foreign Policy Bulletin online are also part of the Academy of European Law online. Working papers in their full-text format, dating back to 1995, are available free of charge, as well as teaching materials and a great selection of links to external resources. Fully retrievable book reviews, papers and journals sum up a large collection of relevant material (published in 9 languages and 14 countries) for the study of European integration and related issues. An effective structure (by categories and sections) enables an easy navigation, with a useful sitemap but no search option provided.
The Joan Shorenstein Center
A Harvard research center on press, politics and public policy
The Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy is a Harvard University research center dedicated to exploring the inter-section of press, politics and public policy in theory and practice. Through teaching and research at the Kennedy School of Government and through its program of fellows and conferences, the Center aims at being a reference point for information and discussions on these topics. Its website contains a lot of information about the Center’s mission and its members? interests, as well as detailed courses descriptions and news about upcoming events. A good quantity of material addressing a variety of issues concerning journalism, public opinion, press and politics, and communication is provided in various formats (pdf, image, audio/video): reports, working papers, discussion and research papers, case studies, book descriptions, bibliographical references. Some documents prior to 1994 are listed but not retrievable online. The website is free of charge and records are mostly retrievable for free by all users. The Harvard International Journal of Press and Politic requires individual or institutional subscription, while a news archive and a RSS news feed are provided. Despite its few navigational tips, the site overall structure is clear and generally user-friendly.
The Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
The Center for International studies at Cornell University
The Mario Einaudi Center main goal is to enhance the international dimension of Cornell University’s curriculum and to facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching activities. As an umbrella organization, the Center provides financial and logistical support for international programs and institutes at Cornell University, serves as a catalyst and makes strategic investments for new initiatives – also addressing contemporary questions and current events, and providing assistance to foreign graduate students. The Center’s site also offers a web gateway, which is a valuable tool to seek out Cornell’s resources in the international studies area. It provides information on its teaching and research activities, program listings and a calendar of upcoming events. The full-text annual reports and a series of working papers, designed to advance international studies at Cornell, are accessible free of charge in pdf format. Each item is commented and searchable through an advanced keyword-based engine, while few options are offered for downloading. Overall this website is well-designed and carefully maintained, also providing a comprehensive site-map and a FAQ file that make easier the overall navigation. A free email newsletter is provided, while the news headlines and calendar have always new items – under a great design and a user-friendly outlook.
The McMillan Center
MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University
The MacMillan Center is the Yale University’s main agency for encouraging and coordinating teaching and research on international affairs, societies and cultures around the world. It provides opportunities for scholarly research, encourages faculty/student interchange, sponsors more than 500 lectures, conferences, workshops, and other activities each year, and produces a wide range of academic publications. The Center’s website offers plenty of detailed information concerning the Center activities, its research activities, publications, projects, and events. Working papers and other research material are retrievable online for free: they essentially focus on democratization, political events in developing countries, social order and social issues. The overall updating is quite frequent and a special section is devoted to latest news and upcoming events. An advanced search facility, some navigational aids, and a professional and effective structure enable an easy orientation to any users, who can also subscribe to a free, weekly e-calendar. Along with a Flash-based animation on the front page, the website features also a good external linking, with an efficient integration into the Yale Library catalogue, which provides long lists of references, free book descriptions and access to several digital collections on various topics.
The Miller Center of Public Affairs
A historical and political science resource on US presidency
Founded in 1975 and hosted at the Virginia University, the Miller Center of Public Affairs is a public policy institution aiming to study the role and history of the American presidency. It pursues its mission through academic and policy programs as well as by organizing seminars and forums. This rich website, which integrates several projects and relative websites, is organized in four main sections (Academic, Public, and Policy Programs, and Scripps Library) each providing complex archives containing essays, documents, audio and video items related to their subject areas, and freely downloadable in different original formats. Moreover, each section provides special features, making available rare and outstanding records on US presidential matters (i.e. almost 5,000 hours presidential recordings from 1940 to 1973; in-depth info on each President and his administration reviewed by experts; etc.). As well, the Online Reference Resource provides reference assistance with subject specific bibliographies and descriptions of the available material on US Presidency- and US public policy-related issues. A search engine feature (by keyword or by collection) permits to easily locate the desired multimedia or textual resources among the extreme richness of contents. The website can be easily navigated and material retrieved also thanks to an extremely clear content organization.
The National Endowment for Democracy
A US program aimed at fostering democracy worldwide
Launched in the early 1980s, The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit organization working to increase international cooperation among existing democracy foundations and to encourage all established democracies to create similar institutions. Its website is very rich-in-content providing well annotated records in various formats from text files to photos, from simple lists to videos. About 6,000 projects on democracy, supported by seven international grant-giving organizations and provided in the Democracy Projects Database, are offered to all users. Book collections, paper journals, grantee reports, and other publications on democracy-related topics are provided for free and archived in the Online Catalog, a collection holding approximately 15,000 works collected over the past twenty years from NED. Only for some full-text journal articles a payment is required. Users can also find a relevant number of information about the center’s mission and projects as well as about special awards, employment opportunities and fellows programs with a good updating rate. The website features an efficient navigational structure, with a site map and a FAQ file. Clear categorization and linking structure enables easy and fast orientation and record locating. Many format options for downloading, included multimedia versions, are also provided.