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Sources of Information on Government and Politics 

The exercise of power often takes place behind the scenes and away from the halls of government.  Nevertheless, the more readily visible activities of lawmaking, political appointment, and elections provide a window on the exercise of power that can be valuable for analyzing the nature and functioning of the power structure.  Below are some of the most useful sources of information on the processes of government and electoral politics.  

  • Lexis-Nexis Congressional.  This is the most comprehensive site on the U.S. Congress.  Provides full text of the Congressional Record and other congressional documents and reports; transcripts of congressional testimony; text of bills; biographies, financial information, and voting records of members of congress; committee rosters;  and more.

  • Clark Library Government Information Collection.  This site, operated by the University of Michigan Documents Center, has extensive links to and about all branches of the federal government.

  • Thomas -- U.S. Congress on the Internet.  This site is the main public gateway to information on congress.  It provides roll call votes, text of bills, and full text of the Congressional Record.

  • FedWorld.  This is the main public gateway to information on the many departments and agencies of the executive branch of the federal government.

  • Project Vote Smart.  Provides biographies, financial information, issue positions, and voting records of more than 14,000 political office holders and candidates.

  • Roll Call.  Information and gossip on members of congress.  Subscription is required for most information, but they offer a two-week free trial subscription.  

  • CNN Politics.  Beltway news and infotainment.

  • Washington Post Politics.  Political coverage, mostly taken from the pages of the Washington Post and Congressional Quarterly.  Registration is required but it's free.

  • PAIS: Public Affairs Information Service.  This database provides references (and sometimes abstracts) to journal articles, books and book chapters, conference proceedings, government documents, and statistical directories in the areas of government, international relations, political science, and public affairs.

Copyright 2012 by Val Burris