VCE Global politics - Units 3 & 4 - Global actors & challenges

Identifies resources and search strategies to access relevant items for the VCE Global politics - Global actors & challenges

Global Crises

There are a number of crises in the world today which impact life on a global scale. In this area of study you will think about the causes of some of these major world crises, and consider how various global actors have responded to them, and how effective their response has been. 

The global crises studied will be chosen from the following:

For definitions of key terms search across all the online encyclopedias in Gale eBooks, or search for definitions in the Oxford English dictionary or Macquarie dictionary.

It is a good idea to read widely so you can compare and contrast the evaluations of the effectiveness of government policy on a specific crisis. Note that the government in charge will publish and promote articles that are favourable to their response. 

To search our eBook collection, set the drop-down menu to the right of the search box to 'Ebooks'. To search articles, change the drop-down menu to 'Articles'. You can search your keywords anywhere in the record, or search more specifically within the subject field. See the Catalogue tab of this guide for more information about searching.

Climate change

There will be vast amounts of information on climate change. Below are a few resources and suggestions for researching this issue.


Online resources - International bodies



Search the catalogue by changing the dropdown in the search bar to 'eBooks', and performing a broad search for climate change, in the subject. You can further narrow down your search by adding additional keywords or using the filters on the right hand side.

Some other suggested subject headings or keywords are:

Some examples of eBooks in the collection:


Climate change and climate science is a huge area of study, and as such there will be a vast number of articles published on the subject. You can afford to be quite specific with your article searches, and still expect to yield a good number of results. Try using Advanced Search, and mixing subject headings with other keywords. 

For instance:

Searching of the databases highlighted above or in the key online resources (such as ProQuest) will allow more focussed and targeted searches, as databases will have specialised searching options not available in the SLV catalogue.

The following articles look at the complexities of government responses to climate change

Books at SLV

SLV has a range of physical books relating to climate change. Many of our books will be in storage, but some will be available on the shelf in the Redmond Barry Reading Room

Perform a catalogue search using the Books scope. You can Ask a Librarian for assistance if you need to order an item from storage. Alternatively, use the Find on Shelf search scope to limit results to books you can read immediately. Note that SLV is not a lending library; books are to be read onsite at the Library. 

Many books of climate change will be scientific in nature. To ensure that you are finding books that are relevant to the field of global politics, look within the Social Sciences section of the Library, located downstairs in the Redmond Barry Reading Room. 

If you would like to browse the shelves, start at 363.73 - Environmental problems. Below are some of the books that you can expect to find at that range:



Online resources

  • The Institute for Economics and Peace release their Global Terrorism Index each year, showing the countries most impacted by terrorism in an interactive map or a written report.
  • Our World in Data's page on Terrorism. Provides interactive charts, overviews and summaries of key terms and various other interesting data visualisations. 
  • The Australian Government's current list of terrorist organisations


Pay careful attention to the causes of and responses to terrorism, and what challenges are faced when negotiating resolutions. 


Specific terrorist organisations

Perform searches for Articles or eBooks on specific terrorist organisations, or add the names of organisations to broader Article searches to narrow down your results.

For instance:

You may also find eBooks on well-established terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaeda or Islamic State. For the latter, search under the subject heading IS (Organization).

Armed conflict

When researching armed conflict you will likely find many analyses on specific conflicts. Remember that there are two sides to every conflict, so it is important to read broadly so you can form a more rounded picture of the causes of a conflict, and the effectiveness of any response. Pay attention to the country of origin of the writer of any text, as well as the year in which it was written. 


From our Pictures collection

Black and white photograph of row of soldiers lying prone with machine guns.

Soldiers during machine gun trainng at unknown locations during World War IIH98.105/4783

Online resources

  • Council on Foreign Relations' Global conflict tracker - this is a US site focussing on the American perspective, but is a comprehensive guide to current conflicts using an interractive map.
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies - An international research institute providing objective information on military, geopolitical and geo-economic developments that could lead to conflict. Articles and research papers can be browsed by topic or region. 



There will be a vast number of articles published on armed conflict and war, meaning that you can be quite specific with your searches and still yield a good number of results. Try using Advanced Search, and mixing subject headings with other keywords such as causes, responses, intervention etc. You may find it beneficial to search for specific conflicts or global actors.

For example, try the following Article searches:

An example of some possible articles:

Economic instability


  • Economic crises International encyclopedia of the social sciences
    • note the "See Also"  options at the end of the article.


This is a broad subject, so perform searches for several keywords or subject headings to find relevant material, using the eBooks drop down in the search bar. Consider also searching for specific issues such as the Global Financial Crisis.

Some suggested subject headings include:

Online databases


This is a very broad topic, use quite specific keywords to narrow your search. Consider searching in a specific database rather than using the SLV 'article search', as the searching options will be more focused.

Here, we have performed an Advanced Search for recent peer-reviewed articles with the subject containing 'globalization', and including the keywords 'econom*' and 'instability'. Note the truncation ( * ) that has been used on econom* - this will search 'economy', 'economist', 'economic' etc.

See also these articles from ProQuest:

Specific issues