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

Power in the Asia-Pacific

In this area of study you will be learning about power and competing national interests, with a specific focus on a country in the Asia-Pacific. See the VCE Australian & global politics study design booklet (page 32) for a definition of countries included within Asia-Pacific.

You will be requierd to perform an analysis of a specified country from this group (either Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, or United States of America) regarding the use of power to serve their national interest and how those interests have been shaped. 

Whichever country is chosen, there will be a range of material available at SLV in books, eBooks, journal articles, newspapers, and websites.

Key terms

For definitions of key terms see the Encyclopedia of modern political thought (2 volumes), search for definitions in the Oxford English dictionary or the Macquarie dictionary, or search across all the online encyclopedias in Gale eBooks. You will need to familiarise yourself with these terms:


For a broad overview of any of the countries, try the following:

Official government websites

These are written by the ruling government, and will reflect a positive view of the government's activities, but these websites are also detailed and give in-depth information on policies, administration and the structure of the government.

These sites will have .gov or .go in their web address. For example:

CIA World Factbook

The World Factbook website provides a brief overview on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, and military of countries across the world. 

eBooks, Books, and Articles

Try searching under the 'Politics and government' subject, and include your country of interest either in the subject, or as a keyword. Use the scope drop-down to filter by eBooks, Articles or Books. See the below sample searches:


Researching and analysing national responses to particular political issues can be a complex task, and will usually involve performing an Articles Search using a variety of keywords. Because political issues are widely written about, you may find a large number of results are returned for your searches. Make sure to use quite specific keywords, and vary keywords across a number of searches. You may find better results searching within a specific database, and each database will have very specific searching facets. 

Search example

"Issues around artificial islands in the South China Sea"

Books and eBooks

When searching for Books and eBooks, only use a few keywords as there will be fewer books on the topic and they will tend to be catalogued using quite broad terms.

Try searching for eBooks using the broad search term 'South China Sea'. A suggested eBook from this search is shown below:


Search our catalogue using eh Articles Search scope. There will be a vast amount of articles so use a range of keywords and be reasonably specific. Refine your search to 'peer-reviewed journals' for the most scholarly items. 

Try searching using specific terms such as 'South China Sea' and 'Artificial islands' and filtering by peer-reviewed journals. A selection of some of the articles you might find includes:

A search using terms "South China Sea" strategy policy also found relevant articles:

Key online resources

Listed below are key online resources accessible through the Library.

Library catalogue

Use our catalogue to search for online articles across our databases. Advanced search is the best option

Use the 'Refine results by' filters to focus your search

Filters to narrow your search

Change scopes to locate different types of material. For example ebooks or print books

Example of scopes

Online databases