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International studies

This page explains what the subject of international studies covers, gives an overview of the material the British Library holds for this subject, and advice on how you can find and use it. It also gives details of current activities for developing the collections for this subject.

International studies is concerned with:

  • global security
  • international finance
  • globalisation
  • migration
  • international human rights.

A growing area of interest is the relationship of individuals and organisations to the environment and climate change.

Collection overview

Comprehensive holdings of UK published popular and research-level publications. The Social Science Reading Room contains many relevant recently-published works on the open shelves, plus reference guides to international law.

The British Library holds some of the most comprehensive collections in the country of books and journals published outside the UK. There are regional and local variations in the activity of publishers in topics relating to International Studies, see Research help by region for more information.

The Library receives publications from many international organisations, such as the World Bank, World Health Organisation, and the International Organization for Migration.The library receives all the print publications of the United Nations and European Union, and supports these with access to a wide range of electronic and print finding aids.

Finding aids

  • Explore the British Library to find details of books, reports, journal titles, newspapers, maps and many more parts of the Library‚Äôs collections
  • Databases, online journals and other electronic resources for politics, international relations and international organisations are available from our London Social Sciences Reading Rooms
  • topical bibliographies on subjects such as Asylum, Human Rights, and Globalization and employment

Social Sciences Enquiry team

For more help on using the Social Sciences collections, contact the Enquiry team at or telephone +44 (0)20 7412 7894 from 10.00 - 20.00 Mon- Thurs or 10.00 - 17.00 Friday.

Current activities

British Library Content Strategy

We have refined our Content Strategy (i.e what we collect now and in future). Please see the content strategy pages on our website. These pages are organised by subject. Please remember that different aspects of a research theme may be described under more than one subject. A subject will also cover a variety of research themes, so even though your topic may not be specifically listed, it will likely be found under one of our headings.

If you have comments on the Library's content strategy, we would be pleased to hear from you.


Ian Cooke
Lead Content Specialist - International and Political Studies
The British Library
96 Euston Road

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7676