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Politics and Societies in Africa, Gov 2530/AFRS 2530: Home

Gov 2530/AFRS 2530, Fall 2014

Getting to know your country by getting to know library resources - EAA

Professor: Ericka Albaugh

Librarian: Barbara Levergood

  Language Map of Africa
Source: Ernest George Ravenstein, A Language Map of Africa, London: Stanford's Geogl. Estabt., 1883. Available from Library of Congress, Maps.

1. General Country Background

Europa world plus. Online version of Europa World Year Book and the nine Regional surveys of the world, including Africa South of the Sahara and The Middle East and North Africa.

Political handbook of the world, Bowdoin Main Ref JF37 .P6

2. Quantitative Information

World Development Indicators, "the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates."

Additional sources

For GDP: National Accounts Main Aggregates Database, United Nations, Statistics Division. Choose Data Selection/Country Profile.

For GDP: International Historical Statistics, 1750-
Worldwide coverage of statistics, including population & vital statistics, labor, agriculture, industry, trade, transport & communications, agriculture, education, and national accounts.

For literacy: Demographic Yearbook, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. [Hints: Start with the index at the back of a volume from the 1990s. 1993 would be a good one. (Literacy or Illiteracy seems to be indexed under Population. I have had good luck simply searching for literac in the document.) That will tell you what years of the Demographic Yearbook include literacy data. You would then have to look in those years to see if your country is included.]

For military: The Military balance, International Institute for Strategic Studies. Bowdoin Main Libr UA15 .M5. Africa is included beginning 1968.

3. Specific Information

Ethnic groups

CIA World Factbook "provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities."


Ethnologue "contains information on 7,106 known living languages."


Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection

Library of Congress Maps

David Rumsey Map Collection

Political status

Polity IV Individual Country Regime Trends, 1946-2013. "Annual Polity scores have been plotted for each of the 167 countries currently covered by the Polity IV data series for the period 1946-2013 (trend graphs are also included with the Polity IV 2010 Country Reports). This version of the Polity Country Trend graphs display periods of "factionalism" and important Polity change events, including autocratic backsliding, executive auto-coup or autogolpe, revolution, collapse of central authority (state failure), and successful military coups."

Freedom House. "Freedom in the World, Freedom House’s flagship publication, is the standard-setting comparative assessment of global political rights and civil liberties. Published annually since 1972, the survey ratings and narrative reports on 195 countries and 14 related and disputed territories are used by policymakers, the media, international corporations, civic activists, and human rights defenders to monitor trends in democracy and track improvements and setbacks in freedom worldwide." See especially Country ratings and status, FIW 1973-2014.

4. Find Books and Academic Articles


Start with CBBcat.

Databases for articles

Use Academic Search Complete (multidisciplinary), Historical Abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, Political Science Database, and/or PAIS Index, all available from "Articles and Databases" on our front page

5. Cite your sources

How To Cite, Bowdoin College, Office of the Dean of Student Affairs

Style and Citation Guides, Bowdoin College Library

Subject Guide

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Barbara Levergood
Bowdoin College
H-L Library, Office 110B
3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421
fax: 207-725-3083
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Bowdoin College Library
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