Skip to Main Content
The following sources provide background information on countries around the world, and will include information related to politics, governance, the economy, and more, which can be used for the case profile portion of your policy position paper.
World Constitutions Illustrated
This library includes the current constitution for every country in its original language format and an English translation, as well as substantial constitutional histories for several countries.
Freely accessible site on which you can view up-to-date copies of countries constitutions, search for tags, and compare constitutional sections.
Featured Democracy Measures
Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI)
"The project focuses on the global and comparative analysis of transformation processes for constitutional democracy and social policy flanked market economy. The Transformation Index BTI, a biennial appearing ranking the quality of democracy, market economy and political achievements in 129 countries, brings together the results." Read more here about the BTI's goals, and access BTI for country reports, rankings, and their archive.
"Freedom in the World, Freedom House's flagship publication, is the standard-setting comparative assessment of global political rights and civil liberties. Published annually since 1972, the survey ratings and narrative reports on 195 countries and 15 related and disputed territories are used by policymakers, the media, international corporations, civic activists, and human rights defenders." (Freedom House)
Polity IV Individual Country Regime Trends, 1946-2013
Tracks changes in the political structure of 167 countries since 1946.
V-Dem: Varieties of Democracy
"Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) is a new approach to conceptualizing and measuring democracy. We provide a multidimensional and disaggregated dataset that reflects the complexity of the concept of democracy as a system of rule that goes beyond the simple presence of elections. The V-Dem project distinguishes between five high-level principles of democracy: electoral, liberal, participatory, deliberative, and egalitarian, and collects data to measure these principles."
Worldwide Governance Indicators (World Bank)
"The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project reports aggregate and individual governance indicators for over 200 countries and territories over the period 1996–2018"
World Value Survey
The WVS conducts surveys in nearly 100 studies, gathering data on people's beliefs and values since 1981.
World Public Opinion
Started and maintained by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, WPO provides data from public opinion polls around the world.
Corruption Perception & Fragile States
Corruption Perception Index (transparency international)
The CPI scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be by experts and business executives. It is a composite index, a combination of 13 surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide"