Finding Information About People: Political Science

Information about people can be found in books, journals, and websites. To find books, search the Subject file of the Library Catalogue under the individual's name (e.g., Sobey, Frank), or use subject headings such as Businessmen–Canada--Biography. Many people will not have had an entire book written about them, so be sure to check BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARIES, which are compilations of biographical information on numerous individuals. Some biographical dictionaries simply list essential facts about a person, while other sources present the facts in a narrative form using complete sentences. Some also include a list of bibliographical references which can be useful for finding additional biographical information.

There are many standard biographical dictionaries. The following will be useful when searching for information about political people:

The Almanac of Women and Minorities in World Politics
“Provides political and biographical details on achievements of women and minorities in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of evert nation (and most dependent territories) in every nation of the world.” Arranged alphabetically by country, entries include dates of right to vote and stand for election. Also includes a Chronology of International Female Heads of Government and State (Excluding Monarchs) and an Index by Name.
REF: HQ1236.M347 2000

American Political Scientists: A Dictionary (2nd edition)
Provides biographical information on “193 political scientists who have made the most important theoretical contributions over the years, with attention to varied approached and different subfields. Alphabetically arranged entries focus on the main ideas and works of each scholar”, (From the book) Appendices list political scientists by degree-granting institutions and political scientists listed by sub-fields. Index included.
REF: JA61.A525 2002

Biographical Dictionary
Covers more than 28,000 notable men and women from ancient times to the present day. Can be searched by birth years, death years, positions held, professions, literary and artistic works, achievements, and other keywords. Use the Advanced Search for searches by field of endeavour.

Biography Index (1946- )
Index to biographies of prominent people from every field. Biographies appear in articles in over 3,000 journals, as well as in books. Includes index by profession/occupation.

Blackwell Biographical Dictionary of British Political Life in the Twentieth Century
Provides "succinct summaries of the careers of leading figures in twentieth-century British political life, together with concise estimates of their stature and significance" (Introduction). Entries are alphabetically arranged. Index includes both personal names and subjects.
REF: DA566.9.A1B57 1990

Blackwell Dictionary of Political Science
Provides a guide to the vocabulary of political science. Political parties and individual's are not included. However, significant policies and movements are included. 
REF: JA61.B43 1999

Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Institutions
Provides concise information on the main concepts used in the study of political institutions. Coverage includes leading organizations and movements and leading political scientists of the past. Individual entries include a bibliography. An index is included.
REF: JA61.B56 1987

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought
Provides a guide to the major concepts and ideas in political science. Also provides biographical information on approximately 100 political thinkers and philosophers. Extensive cross-references and selected bibliographies are included in most signed entries.
REF: JA61.B57 1991

Canadian Parliamentary Guide
Annual publication with information on both federal and provincial governments as well as their elected officials. The guide contains biographical information about members of the Governor General's Household, the Privy Council, the House of Commons, the Senate, each provincial legislature, judiciary, diplomatic corps, commissions, boards, and public service officials. The Guide also contains the results of all federal elections and by-elections, from 1867 onward, as well as the results of the most recent provincial elections.

Canadian Parliamentary Handbook
Provides biographical sketches of senators and members of parliament. Provides a brief introduction to the Canadian parliamentary process, the Governor General's role, the Senate, the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament.
REF: JL5.B44

Canadian Who's Who (1910- )
Concise, comprehensive biographies of prominent Canadians from a wide variety of occupations and professions. The Canadian Who's Who is available as an e-book (from 1949 - 2006) to the UPEI community.
REF: FC25.C38

Central and South-Eastern Europe
Provides an up-to-date perspective on the political, economic, and social affairs of this area. Part 1 - General Survey covers issues of regional importance such as economies, minorities, religion and environment. Part 2 - Country Surveys includes chapters on each of the countries of the region and contains geographical information, an historical chronology, essays on political and economic affairs; a statistical survey that includes the latest demographic and economic figures; and a directory of names and addresses of organizations and people. Part 3 - Political Profiles of the Region provides biographical information on the leading figures of the region.
REF: HC244.A1C46 200

Chambers Dictionary of Political Biography
Provides information on 1100 individuals who have had or continue to have an impact on the modern political world. Coverage is international. Also includes a Glossary of political terms and a Quotations section.
REF: JA66.C35 1991

Civil War High Commands
Provides brief biographical information on over 3000 Union and Confederate military commanders and extensive background information. Sections include: Organization; Biographies; Grades and Rank; Command Structure; and Chronology of Some Important Civil War Dates. Includes a Short Title Bibliography, a Bibliography, a Name Index and an Abbreviations, Acronyms, Symbols, and Military Lexicon section. Also available as an e-book to the UPEI community.
REF: E467.E35 2001

Countries of the World and Their Leaders Yearbook (2 Volumes)
Provides information on 196 countries of the world from the U.S. Department of State. Background notes on each country includes a brief profile, geography, people, relations with the United States, economy, government and political conditions, foreign relations, and a map. In addition to the Background Notes on Countries of the World, Volume 1 includes the following sections: Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments; Status of World’s Nations; U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Foreign Service Posts. In addition to the Background Notes on Countries of the World, Volume 2 includes: International Travelers’ Health Information; Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets from U.S. State Department and International Treaty Organizations. Includes and Index.
REF: G1.C88 2002

Current Biography Yearbook (1940-2004 )
Includes biographies of persons of various nationalities, professions, and occupations, who are currently popular in their particular fields. Each yearbook contains a classified list by occupations.
REF: CT100.C8

Dictionary of American Biography
Provides biographical information on deceased Americans. The signed articles include a bibliography. Has a cumulated index.
REF: E176.D56

Dictionary of British Politics
Provides information on “the personalities, policies and institutions that have shaped British politics, with special emphasis on the developments since the beginning of the twentieth century.” Provides “short authoritative explanations and definitions of the key terms, institutions, offices of state, political events, processes and policies as well as biographies of well known politicians, political thinkers, movements and theorists.” Part 1 covers politics; Part 11 covers people. Includes a list of topically arranged Websites and a bibliography. There is no index but there is extensive cross-referencing.
REF: JN114.J66 2004


Dictionary of the European Union
Provides over 1,000 concise definitions and explanations of all aspects of the European Union. “The dictionary profiles member states, applicant countries, and the people who have played an important role in the formation and development of the EU.” Includes and account of historical and current issues, treaties, programmes and policies, and countries and organizations of relevance to the EU. Also includes cross-references and identifies acronyms and abbreviations.
REF: KJE926.5.P55 2006


Dictionary of the Modern Politics of South-East Asia (3rd edition)
Provides a profile of the region through the use of surveys on each of the ten states. (East Timor is covered in the body of the text.) Over 300 alphabetically arranged and comprehensively cross-referenced entries provide “authoritative analysis and full information on significant episodes and treaties, political parties and movements, and regional organizations.” Also included are biographies of principal political figures, both past and present, an index by country, and a guide to further reading. Also available as an e-book to the UPEI community.
REF: DS526.7.L45 2001

Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia
Provides and authoritative up-to-date survey of the countries and territories of the region. Part One - General Survey provides authoritative articles on regional issues and problems. Part Two - Country Surveys provides detailed information on each of the countries. Each country chapter includes information on the country, its people, history, politics and economy; a geography and map; historical chronology; essay on political affairs and an essay on economic affairs; detailed statistical and directory section; and a select bibliography. Part Three - Political Profiles of the Region provides detailed information on the leading individuals in the region including contact information. Part Four - Regional Information , provides detailed information on the principal international organizations and research institutes that are active in the region, and select bibliographies of books and periodicals.
REF: HC244.A1E293 2004


Encyclopedia of International Peacekeeping Operations
Provides an overview of the terms, persons, organizations, countries, conflicts, and agreements representative of peacekeeping efforts. Coverage includes: “major controversies about peacekeeping, military doctrines behind peacekeeping, full historical summaries of all major missions; causes of and parties to the conflicts; biographical sketches of important military, civilian, and political figures, and UN offices responsible for peacekeeping operations, training centers, and programs.” Also includes: Acronyms and Abbreviations Used in Peacekeeping; Appendixes - Appendix 1 - Force Commanders of UN Peacekeeping Missions 1948-1998; Appendix 2 - Special Representatives of the Secretary-General 1948-1998; Appendix 3 - International Peacekeeping Acronyms; and a bibliography and an index.
REF: JZ6374.R36 1999


Encyclopedia of Political Revolutions
Provides approximately three hundred (300) alphabetically arranged essays, with a short bibliography, on broad concepts relevant to political revolutions, revolutionary leaders, and events of the past 500 years. The entries cover political events, key political concepts, biographies of key players, and timeline of revolutionary events by continent. Maps and photographs are included.
REF: JC491.E63 1998

Encyclopedia of Women in American Politics
Provides comprehensive coverage of the political struggles and achievements of American women. The over seven hundred alphabetically arranged entries written by over fifty scholars provide information on every woman who has served in a political capacity - including leaders of the suffrage movement, feminists, and anti-feminists. Also includes entries of significant events, court cases, and concepts. Includes four appendices - Appendix 1 - Speeches and Documents; Appendix 11 - Tables; Appendix 111 - Organizations; and Appendix 1V - Timeline. Includes a bibliography with each entry, cross-references, and an index. 
REF: HQ1236.5.U6E53 1999

Facts on File Encyclopedia of the 20th Century
Provides over 8,000 brief, alphabetically arranged entries on people, places, events, and ideas important during the 20th century. Includes portraits and maps. Also includes numerous internal and external cross-references and an index. Current as of early 1991.
REF: D419.F33 1991

Greenwood Encyclopedia of International Relations (4 Volumes)
Provides approximately 6,000 alphabetically arranged entries on the terms, people, places, organizations, and events of international relations. Entries vary in length from concise definitions to entries of several pages. Special features include: Biography, Diplomacy, Intelligence, International Law, International Organizations, International Political Economy, Maps, Military History, Political Geography, and Political Science. Includes 29 maps, an Index and a Select Biography. 
REF: JZ1160.N65 2002

Illustrated Dictionary of Constitutional Concepts
Provides definitions of terms that form the language of constitutions. Provides biographical information on significant thinkers and historical figures.
REF: JA61.M28 1996

International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (26 volumes)
Provides a scholarly overview of the social and behavioral sciences. Articles provide concise overviews of the ideas, concepts, theories and principles within the social and behavioral sciences. Each article includes a bibliography of scholarly articles, essays, and occasionally books. There are biographical articles on major theorists and practitioners.
REF: H41.I58 2001

International Year Book and Statesmen's Who's Who
Annual publication giving basic facts about nations and selected international organizations. It also provides a chronological diary of events and a large biographical section. Provides: 1. Information on the structure and functions of the world's major international and national organizations; 2. A comprehensive overview of the political, economic and social landscape of the world's countries; 3. Biographies of 8,000 leading world figures.
REF: JA51.I57

The Nobel Peace Prize and the Laureates: An Illustrated Biographical History, 1901-2001
Part One provides background information on Alfred Nobel and the establishment of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee, and Nobel’s Expectations and the Transformation of the Prize. Part Two provides a biography with bibliographic references, including source and secondary writings, and an official photograph of each of the laureates. Appendices list the laureates in a number of categories, i.e., country, age distribution, women. Includes an index.
REF: JZ5540.A27 2001

Political and Economic Dictionary of Eastern Europe
Provides a comprehensive guide to the economics and politics of Eastern Europe. Over 1000 entries cover the countries, regions, ethnic groups, political parties, prime ministers, presidents, business organizations, geographical features, religions, and border disputes. Includes separate articles on each country and its economy, cross-references, detailed contact information an organizations and geographical and personal name indexes.
REF: HC244.P66 2002

Political Leaders of Contemporary Western Europe: A Biographical Dictionary
Provides biographical essays on the political leaders of contemporary Western Europe. Each entry also includes a bibliography.
REF: D839.5.P62 1995

The Presidents: A Reference History (3rd edition)
Provides biographical information on each of the presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush. The lengthy biographical essays include election information, appointments, and key events for each presidency. Each article has a bibliography.
REF: E176.1.P918 2002


Profiles of People in Power: The World’s Government Leaders
Provides “succinct biographical portraits of the heads of state and government of every sovereign country in the world as of 1 January 2003.” “The biographical profiles - arranged by country - are proceeded by a concise description of the constitutional structure of the country’s leadership, executive branch and legislature.” Each country entry also contains a table listing the names of all those who have held the office of the head of state, head of government, or ruling party leader since 1 January 2000, with their dates of taking (and where relevant, leaving) office. Includes an index by personal name and by date of taking power. An additional index lists countries by type of political regime, and an appendix provides address and contact information.
REF: JF251.E27 2003


Public Opinion and Polling Around the World: a Historical Encyclopedia
Provides a review of the history of polling from colonial America to its role in emerging democracies. Part 1 - The Role of Public Opinion in Democracy - examines the role of public opinion in a democratic society; Section One - Measuring Public Opinion and Section Two - Shaping Public Opinion. Part 2 - Public Opinion in the United States - Section One: History; Section Two: Issues; Section Three: Key People, Institutions. Volume 2 covers the international arena including Canada. Includes A-Z entries on the United States elections, history, political parties, interest groups, the role of the media and biographies of key pollsters and opinion leaders. Also includes illustrative material including 175 tables and figures; an appendix containing National Elections Studies 2002 Post-Election Survey Questionnaire; Print and Nonprint Resources; an Index; and a List of Contributors. 
REF: HM1236.P83 2004


Routledge Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Political Thinkers (2nd edition)
Provides information on theorists and practitioners from the early twentieth century to the present. Includes both Western and non-Western individuals who have influenced new movements based on ethnicity, gender and ecology. Includes bibliographies of individual writings and references for additional readings. Also available as an e-book to the UPEI community.
REF: JA83.R725 1998


Who's Who in America (1899- )
Information on notable Americans. Includes a Professional Index. The 2013 edition is available as an e-book to the UPEI community.
REF: E176.W642


Who's Who in Canada (1914- )
An illustrated biographical record of leading Canadians from business, the professions, government, and academia.
The Subject Index at the back groups people by occupation, e.g., Diplomatic Service, Government, Intergovernmental Affairs, Judges, Premiers, Senators.
REF: FC25.W62

Created by: Cathy Callaghan, B.A., M.L.S.
Date Created: 30-June-2000
Date Revised: 3-October-2013


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