Governance for the Twenty-First Century: Retaining, Re-tooling, or Re-building?

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Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. This guide will help you to use our library to find and evaluate research material for your projects and assignments in the course Governance for the Twenty-First Century: Retaining, Re-tooling, or Re-building?. If you have any further questions about library services, please contact Karen Marotz, Head, Belzberg Library at 778.782.5054 or

Research Sources

Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.

Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the SFU Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides and research help in one place. Try our Library Search engine from the home page to quickly find books, articles and information on the library website in one search.

Books, articles and web sites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references or links to related material.

1. Books, Ebooks, Films, Music, Sound, Slides

Search the catalogue to find all books, reports and media materials in the SFU Library at all three campuses (Belzberg - Vancouver; Bennett - Burnaby; Fraser - Surrey).

  • Searching by KEYWORD is generally the best way to start. Once you have found some good results with your keyword searches, use the subjects on those items to focus your search.
  • Try the following SUBJECT headings:
  • Civil Society
  • Communication in Politics
  • Community Development
  • Comparative Government
  • Conservatism
  • Deliberative Democracy
  • Democracy
  • Liberalism
  • Neoliberalism
  • Opposition (Political Science)
  • Political Participation
  • Representative Government and Representation
  • Republicanism
  • Social Action
  • Social Change
  • Social Movements
  • State, the
  • Transparency in Government

The main SUBJECT heading for information about British Columbia is British Columbia

  • Note the list of SUBHEADINGS for more specific aspects of the province. Try combining SUBJECT headings for more focused search results about British Columbia and governance topics, for example:

Limit your search to items at Belzberg Library by checking Belzberg Library (Vancouver) under "Keyword search with optional limits."

2. Journal Articles and Databases

Connect to Journal Articles and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports and newspapers, as well as financial and statistical data. Many indexes provide online access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request copies of articles through the "Where Can I Get This?" link. Browse by subject area to identify useful databases for your topic. 

Suggested article databases

  • Academic Search Premier - Multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals.
  • Canadian Newsstream - Full text of major Canadian newspapers and Canwest's small market BC papers.
  • Canadian Points of View Reference Centre - Series of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue, each with an overview (objective background/description), point (argument), counterpoint (opposing argument), and Critical Thinking Guide.
  • Canadian Electronic Library - Publications include primary research and opinion from Canadian public policy institutes, research institutes, think tanks, advocacy groups, government agencies and university research centres. 
  • International Political Science Abstracts - Provides abstracts of political science articles published in scholarly journals and yearbooks worldwide.
  • Political Science Complete - Has a worldwide focus, reflecting the globalization of contemporary political discourse.
  • PsychINFO - Psychological aspects of governance and political participation. 
  • Sociological Abstracts - Index to major sociology journals and research resources.

Try the same subject terms as suggested for books, or check the thesaurus or list of subject terms within the database. For help with searching databases, check Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article.
For books and articles not online or at SFU, request an Interlibrary Loan.

3. Statistics and Government Sources 

4. Selected Internet Sources

In addition to the library catalogue and databases, you will find a lot of good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have web sites - many with publications freely available. Use a web search engine such as Google, Google Scholar or to find additional information, including the web sites of interest groups and other organizations. Check the library's Internet Research guide for additional help in finding and evaluating web sites.

Useful sites for Governance for the Twenty-First Century

5. Research guides for related subjects

Subject Research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publications available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions:

Ask Us!

  • If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian in person, by phone, email or interactive reference.