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Collection Profile

Information on Library holdings in the political and social sciences is given below. Pointers are included for some of the EUI Library's important electronic resources such as bibliographic and full-text databases, data services, and news sources.

Given the broad range of interests of social and political scientists at the EUI, users are advised to explore all of the Library's web pages. Acquisition policy corresponds to the research profile of the Department of Political and Social Sciences. Broadly speaking, the research programme of the Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS) places emphasis on political and social change within Europe at the national, sub-national and transnational level.
The research interests of the Department range across the four sub-disciplines of comparative politics, sociology, international relations, and social and political theory. Users may also consult the page outlining the current research themes of the SPS department.

See also Library Research Skills for a list of current courses.

The materials acquired and held by the EUI Library in Sociology and Political Science reflect the dominant and enduring research interests of the Department of Political and Social Sciences and, more recently, the Robert Schuman Centre. 

These can be divided into five main groups (Dewey classification numbers from the 21st edition are given in parenthesis): 

Current research themes are available on the websites of the Department of Political and Social Sciences and of the Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies

Document and media types, geographical focus and linguistic scope 

Within these subject areas the Library acquires systematically across a broad range of document and information types including monographs, periodicals, working-papers, European documentation, government publications (reports, statistics, parliamentary debates, official journals).

Media include paper, microform, CD ROM, and Internet resources. The geographical focus is predominantly Western Europe and other advanced industrial societies.

However, as research has moved to include the transition paths of post-communist societies, increasing attention is being given to Eastern European materials.

More recently, the whole of the Mediterranean area has become a major research theme of the EUI and it is expected that Library collections for this region will expand.

The language of monograph holdings tends to be that of the original althoug there are many exceptions to this pattern especially in the case of the number of English translations acquired.

For particularly important books, multiple copies and editions in more than one language will often be found.

Comparative Politics

Library holdings and current acquistion policy reflect nearly all the themes and subjects normally falling withn this broad area. Three broad fields can be discerned:

  • governmental institutions and processes (e.g., constitutions, executives, legislatures, bureaucracies, etc.)
  • non-governmental politics (e.g., elections, political parties, interest groups, mass movements, public opinion)
  • policies and policy-making (e.g., the policy process and various policy areas such as welfare, unemployment, immigration, the environment)

Sociology and Political Economy

Within this area library holdings are focussed on the following topics:

  • comparative socio-economic structures of advanced industrial societies (welfare states, labour markets, industrial relations, income distribution, taxation and public expenditure, etc.)
  • the social bases of political behaviour (social stratification, mobility, social movements, demographic developments, ethnic and cultural minorities, etc.)
  • the processes of modernization (industrialization, urbanization, the emergence of mass politics, democratic transitions, post-communist societies)
  • see also the Professor Philippe Schmitter Collection on corporatism 

International Relations and International Political Economy

Military strategy and security studies have not been a consistent part of the EUI research profile over the years so the emphasis within these collections is on:

  • the theory of international relations
  • foreign policies of EU member states (whether towards the EU itself or vis-a-vis each other)
  • the development of an EU common foreign policy

The Dynamics of Europeanisation and European Integration

A comprehensive collection in all languages, media and document types from the legal, historical, economic and social points of view.

Excellent support exists in the form of bibliographies, official documentation, reference works and databases.

See also European Union Information

Political and Social Theory

The political and social theory section of the Library is made up of holdings in contemporary political philosophy, social theory and the history of political ideas:

  • contemporary political theory concentrates on the revival of liberal theory since the publication of Rawls' 'Justice as Fairness' (1959). Important themes include justice, liberty, equality, rights and duties, tolerance, citizenship, self-determination. A wide variety of ideological approaches is covered (liberal, conservative, Marxist, communitarian) along with the authors who represent them.
  • contemporary social theory includes extensive coverage of European and American authors concerned with general social theory and the methodological foundations of the social sciences (e.g. Habermas, Luhmann, Parsons, Alexander, Bourdieu, Ricoeur, Foucault, etc.) as well as a good coverage of the authors forming the classical backgorund to this approach (Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Pareto, Mill, etc.).
  • history of ideas is represented by the collected works of the most important Western thinkers and philosophers along with a selective range of the standard secondary literature and translations. The emphasis is mostly on post-17th century thinkers though the Loeb Classical Library is also stocked. The Goldsmiths' Kress Collection (on microfiche) is a valuable part of this area.

Page last updated on 19 January 2024

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