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Library Services



Political Science and Public Policy

A subject guide for the Department of Political Science / School of Public Policy

Books and e-books

The Public Policy reading room is located in the Main Library, 2nd floor, south end, Wilkins Building. It includes two collections:

  • Public Policy: covers many aspects of political science, research methodologies and the formulation of government policy.
  • International Relations: for material on the interaction between states and issues relating to global governance, terrorism and security studies.

Explore is the principal tool to find books, journals and other materials (either in print or in electronic format) held in UCL libraries. From Explore, you will find the location details of the materials you are looking for. A typical shelfmark for a book openly available will consist of the name of a subject (indicating a section of the Library), followed by letters and numbers denoting its classified position on the shelves in that section, e.g. PUBLIC POLICY JN 956 for books on the UK electoral system. Finally, 3 letters will indicate the author or editor of the work.

Other collections

  • Economics: contains books on economic theory and policy.
  • History: includes the history of political thought and extensive collections on the political history of Britain, Europe, America and Latin America.
  • Human Rights: from textbooks to material on specific rights and the situations in specific regions and countries.
  • Law: includes material on constitutional law, the EU and legal systems.
  • Philosophy: books on European philosophy.
  • Geography: is particularly useful for additional material on development, globalisation and the environment.

Stores service

How can you tell if a book is available online?

On UCL Explore, you can look at the results of your search to quickly discover if a book is available in print or/and online: View Online means that the book is available electronically, while Available means that the book is available in print. In some cases a book is available both in print and online. 

E-books Explore screenshot

General reference works, encyclopaedias, handbooks and dictionaries

Consult introductory material or general reference works for a broad overview of your issue or topic, and to identify key concepts, theories and researchers in the field. Introductory material may include:

  • subject or discipline specific dictionaries and encyclopaedias 
  • handbooks
  • companions
  • introductions
  • guides
  • histories

Find introductory material in Explore by combining a topic keyword with one of the material type descriptors above, e.g. handbook deliberative democracy.

These are some examples of introductory material available for Economics in the Library. The list is not extensive, and you should perform your own search to see what else is available in our collections.