Global Issues Library | Alexander Street
Global Issues Library

Global Issues Library

Global Issues Library reflects the key issues affecting our world today, including border issues, migrations, atrocities and human rights violations, security, revolution and protest, and environmental issues. Through historical and contemporary events found in this database, students and scholars can learn about and contextualize the issues that have transformed the human experience globally. 

Global Issues Library will include around 180 thematical clusters of issues, topics, and events from the late 1890s to present that are key to understanding today’s world:  immigration, genocide, peacekeeping, climate change, water issues, terrorism, human trafficking, and incarceration. Specific events explored include the U.S. and Mexico Border, the Rwandan Genocide, the Arab Spring, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and climate migrants in Asia Pacific.   

Issues and events are presented through a variety of perspectives—personal, governmental, legal, contemporary and retrospective—that demonstrate the interactions and interconnectedness of global issues and allow students and scholars to consider their world in new ways, such as: 

  • How atrocities and war happen and the aftermath of these crises across borders. 
  • How environmental issues and security issues affect displacement.
  • How institutions respond and have responded to global crisis.

Content Examples  

  • Access unique personal and official documents retracing the life of a family who lived in France during the German occupation, starting as they left Ukraine for France. Follow the history of the family after their deportation to Auschwitz, including official and personal documents.
  • Meet African migrants who survived a boat wreck as they tried to emigrate to Europe in the documentary film, African Exodus. 
  • Explore the horrors of the Cambodian genocide that took place from 1975 to 1979 under the Khmer Rouge in Alexander Laban Hinton’s book, Why Did They Kill?, to understand why mass murder happens and what motivates perpetrators to kill. 
  • Understand the controversy surrounding the Three Gorges Dam, a massive feat of engineering that took a step toward clean energy, but that displaced millions of people and caused significant ecological changes to the surrounding area, through documentaries, contemporary texts, and records of the dam’s construction.

Teaching Power  

Covers all documents types & media: Includes primary sources, books, oral histories, scholarly essays, conference proceedings, letters, diaries, images, plays, posters, documentaries, links to websites, and other archival documents. 
Opportunities for comparative research: Content is organized by thematic clusters, such as Cambodian genocide, Burma-Myanmar Conflict, Iranian Revolution, E.U. and its borders, and allows researchers to compare issues in different contexts, such as geographically or historically.

Interdisciplinary: Aligned with how these topics are taught today, the Global Issues Library combines historical, political, international, sociological, anthropological, artistic, and human rights perspectives. It supports research and teaching in international studies, history, political science, sociology, security studies, peace studies, law, public policy, and anthropology. 

Unique and Exclusive Content Partners 

Includes archival materials that can only be found in Global Issues Library, such as collections from the National Archives in Kew, University of London, the Clinton Library, and others. 

Purchasing Options

Global Issues Library includes the full contents of the following collections, which may be purchased individually or as a package for greater savings: