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SO 451 - Special Topics: Peace, Conflict, and War


This guide will direct you to resources that will aid in the completion of your assignments for SO 451: Peace, Conflict, and War. All of these resources can be accessed either on campus or remotely by entering in the S number on the back of your student ID.

If you need any assistance in using these resources or if you are having difficulty in locating information, please contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian.


Book Reviews

Use the resources below for information on how to write a critical book review. Please consult the assignment description provided to you by your professor, the below resources should only be used for guidance and brainstorming.

Reading a Non-Fiction Book to Review It (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Writing Critical Book Reviews (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Writing Book Reviews (Indiana University)

Examples of Critical Book Reviews:

Review of:  Visions of Solidarity:  U.S. Peace Activists in Nicaragua from War to Women's Activism and Globalization
Review of:  The Politics of Protest:  Social Movements in America
Review of:  Political Movements and Violence in Central America


Reference Materials

Use reference materials to get an overview of the topic you are researching as well as to understand how sociologists approach your research topic. When using reference materials make note of any words that are used to describe your topic, these words can serve as keywords when it comes time to search for articles in online journal databases. Also, pay attention to the citations located at the end of topic entries, they can be used as a starting point for locating scholarly research.

Individual Reference Titles

Civil Wars of the World: Major Conflicts Since World War II
     Ref D431 .C54 (2 volumes)

Crimes of War: A-Z Guide (Crimes of War Project)

Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice
     Ref HM671 .E53 (3 volumes)

Encyclopedia of American Social Movements
     Ref HN57 .E594 (3 volumes)

Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity
     Ref HV 6322.7 .E532 (3 volumes)

Encyclopedia of Human Rights

Encyclopedia of Modern Ethnic Conflicts

Encyclopedia of Sociology
     Ref HM425 .E5
See entries on Military Sociology, Peace, and War

Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict

Holocaust Encyclopedia
     Ref D804.25 .H66

Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence

Propaganda and Mass Persuasion:  A Historical Encyclopedia, 1500 to Present

Reference Databases

Gale Virtual Reference Library
Use to get background information on U.S. historical events and sociological concepts.

Oxford Reference Online
Use to get background information on historical events, including U.S. and European military history.


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Books & More

Geisel Library Catalog
Use to locate books housed in Geisel Library. To see what books have recently been added to the Geisel Library collection, consult the New Books webpage and browse by subject area and month.

If you have searched the Geisel Library Catalog but could not locate a book on your topic try searching WorldCat, a database that allows you to search the collections of libraries throughout the United States. If you find a book that you want you can request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) by clicking on the "Request Via Interlibrary Loan link" in the book's catalog record. Your book(s) will be available for pickup in the library within 7-14 days. For assistance in using this database please Ask a Librarian.

This library of over 40,000 e-books spans across all scholarly disciplines. Books can either be opened in QuickView for instant viewing or in the ebrary Reader (a downloadable plug-in), which provides enhanced functionality such as the ability to copy/paste, highlight, or take notes in a particular book.

Praeger Security International
The Praeger Security International database has a number of ebooks dealing with the topics addressed in this course. All of these ebooks will approach the topic through a political science lens.

Sample of Available Print and Electronic Books

Century of Genocide:  Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts
Memory is Another Country:  Women of the Vietnamese Diaspora
New American Militarism:  How Americans are Seduced by War
Ordinary Men:  Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
Postmemories of Terror:  A New Generation Copes with the Legacy of the "Dirty War"
Researching Conflict in Africa:  Insights and Experiences
Torture:  A Collection

Sample of Course Relevant Dramas and Documentaries in the Video Room

Faces of the Enemy
Genocide:  The Ultimate Terrorism
Ghosts of Rwanda
God Sleeps in Rwanda
A Good Man in Hell:  General Romeo Dallaire and the Rwandan Genocide
Hearts and Minds
Night and Fog
The Killing Fields
Terror in the Mine Fields
The Torture Question


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Journal Articles

For your research assignments you may need to use both scholarly and non-scholarly resources to fuel the discussion of your topic. For a refresher on the differences between a scholarly and non-scholarly resource please consult our popular vs. scholarly webpage. For any assistance in how to use WebBridge please consult our WebBridge video tutorial or our WebBridge webpage.

Databases for Scholarly Research

Listed below are the core online journal databases for this course. Keep in mind that the library subscribes to a number of subject specific online journal databases, if you are having trouble locating articles you may simply need to use another database. If that is the case, consult the library's Subject Guides, Article Databases page, or contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian who will then guide you toward the appropriate database.

Titles of Note:  International Journal of Peace Studies, Peace and Change, Peace and Conflict, and Peace Review

Title of Note:  Journal of Peace Research, current issues available in Sage Online.

Project MUSE
Title of Note:  Human Rights Quarterly

Academic Search Premier
Use to gather research from a number of different disciplines including sociology, history, and political science.

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
Use to research your topic through a political science lens, including how the international community has responded to genocides and wartime atrocities.

America: History and Life
Use to get a historical background on your topic, this database deals only with American history.

Historical Abstracts
Use to get a historical background on your topic, this database covers non-North American history.

Open Access Journals

International Journal of Conflict and Violence
Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace
Peace and Conflict Review
Peace and Conflict Studies
Peace Conflict and Development
Peace Newsletter (Syracuse University)

Databases for Popular Magazine and Newspaper Articles

In addition to the databases listed below you will also want to consult the Current Events Research Help page to be directed to more library and Internet current event resources.

LexisNexis Academic

Access World News (Trial Database - Trial ends May 2010)

Academic Search Premier
Use the "Periodical" and/or "Newspaper" limiter to limit your search results to popular magazines and newspapers.

Newspaper Source

New Hampshire Index

New York Times   (Historical 1851–2003)

Wall Street Journal


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Web Resources

Searching the Internet can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. The ease and speed with which individuals can publish information on the web, regardless of accuracy or quality makes it imperative that when doing research on the web you know how to evaluate the information you find. To learn more, see our Evaluating Websites page.

If you locate books or articles on the Internet that you would like to view please check with a reference librarian to see if the items can be located in Geisel Library's print or electronic collection or through Interlibrary Loan.

Amnesty International
Amnesty International is one of the most well known and active human rights organizations. Use their website to research human rights abuses around globe. Click on the "Learn About Human Rights" tab to browse their collection of documents by country or topic.

Cambodia Genocide Program Yale University
Highlights of this website include their bibliographic, biographic and image databases and their "Resources/Publications" tab which can be used to access full text scholarly articles related to the Cambodian genocide. The website also has a large collection of images that document the Cambodian genocide including photographs of victims and those imprisoned at the Tuol Sleng prison.

Global Peace Index — Vision of Humanity
Created as a joint project between the Institute for Economics and Peace and the Economist Inteligence Unit, the Global Peace Index ranks countries in terms of relative peace. Peace is measured using a number of factors including: existing conflicts, terrorist acts, military expenditure, political participation, and civil liberties. View information on a country by country basis or choose "Comparison" to compare the level of peace of two or more countries.

Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an International Organization that publishes an enormous amount of research that alerts the world to human rights violations across the globe. Scroll to the bottom of the page to browse by region or topic or click on the "Publications" tab to access their reports, including the recently published World Report 2010. Also make sure to explore their multimedia section which contains slideshows, podcasts, and videos.

Human Security Report Project — Simon Frasier University, Vancouver Canada
This website provides statistics and publications on the global and regional trends of political violence. Website sections of note include the Human Security Report, the miniAltas, and the Human Security Gateway which lets you browse for human security related bibliographic resources by regional, country, or topic gateway.

International Court of Justice
Research war crime and human rights abuse trials that are being presented before the International Court of Justice. Click on the "Case" tab to get information on the current cases before the Court.

International Peace Research Institute
Click on "Data" to access data sets, statistics, and reports generated by PRIO's numerous projects including the Centre for the Study of Civil War, Small Arms Trade Database, and Armed Conflict Database. This organization produces an enormous amount of research on armed conflict so please take time to explore the many publications and data sets they make available.

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice University of San Diego
This website contains a tremendous amount of unique full text resources including Kroc Institute conference proceedings, full text to guest lectures, narratives of the field experiences of women peacemakers, and the Institute's Compass Newsletter. To access these resources simply click on the "Publications" tab.

Use their "Virtual Resource Library" as a web portal to locate peace research on the Internet.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
This institute's research focuses on arms control, military expenditures, disarmament, and non-proliferation. Click on their research, databases, and publications tabs to explore their research. Some of the information needs to be purchased before viewing, if you want to view that information please contact the Sociology Liaison Librarian who can research the possibility of Interlibrary Loan.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This website really needs to be explored to truly understand the enormous amount of information that it contains. While the primary focus of the USHMM is to provide information and research on the Holocaust of World War II, they do consider the prevention and education of all genocidal events a central focus of their mission. As such, this website can be used to locate information on past and current genocides around the globe.

United States Institute of Peace
"The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) provides the analysis, training and tools that help to prevent, manage and end violent international conflicts, promote stability and professionalize the field of peacebuilding." Use the "Issue Areas" or "Resources and Tools" tab to search through the publications that document their peace promoting initiatives across the globe.

Uppsala Conflict Data Program (Uppsala Universitet)
Access datasets or click on "Databases" to browse for conflict information by region or country. Select a country from the map and then click on the category tabs on the right side of the screen to get background information on that topic (please note: you need to click on the black text link inside the grey box to read the reports).

Yad Vashem
Use the Yad Vashem to view primary resources of the victims of the Holocaust of World War II, browse the website to view letters, diaries, testimonies, and photographs of the victims of the Holocaust.


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Citing Sources

Sociology researchers tend to use the ASA (American Sociology Association) citation format. Always check with your professor for the required citation style.

If you need to consult the ASA Style Guide while in the library stop at the reference desk and ask for call number: Ready Ref HM569 .A54.

  • ASA Format (American Sociological Association) from California State University at Los Angeles (PDF/68KB)
  • Formatting in Sociology from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)

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