Skip to main content

Political Science Research Guide: Finding Websites

Helpful links

Sunlight Foundation

Sunlight Foundaton logo

The 2015 BUDDIE award for the Best Unknown Database is the 501(3)(c) nonprofit  think tank, Sunlight Foundation with more than 2 dozen employees in its Washington D.C. office. Its name is from a quote by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."

The Sunlight Foundation's mission is to use "the tools of civic tech, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all."  It features interactive databases and mobile apps that help bring research to light. Be sure to check out such tools as The Influence Explorer which tracks political contributions by recipient and contributor; Open Congress and Open States for tracking legislation; Party Time for tracking fundraising events, receptions, and the like; Capitol Words, and the State of the Union Machine app just for fun!

National Archives: Declaration of Independence

Searching with Google

Once you have tried Library sources first, you may wish to use Google for background information on your research topic. The following information shows how to make your Google search more effective.

  • Use quotations for phrase searching (for example, "early childhood education")
  • -site:.com added to your search will eliminate ALL .com sites in search results
  • site:.edu (or site:.gov) will ONLY search within the designated domain

Re-inventing Democracy through Participatory Budgeting

Published on Jun 6, 2013  (3:02 min.)  https://youtu.be/dLrPJghHIzg

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It gives ordinary people real power over real money, letting them work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives.

Recommended Websites

Quick Facts, Studies and Statistics

Taxes

Voter Information

Federal Government

State

Local

Cities

Counties

International

Embassies and Consulates

Heads of State

Political Science