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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Global Studies: Sustainable Development

Global Studies is a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary subject area that explores the concept of globalization and the interrelationships of peoples and states.

About this page

This page includes links that facilitate research in the current sociopolitical, economic and environmental development needs of the world’s populations in tandem with a concern for preserving resources for future generations.


Policy Research Centers

  • Bipartisan Policy Center - Mission Statement: "[T]o develop and promote solutions that can attract public support and political momentum in order to achieve real progress."
  • Center for Biological Diversity - Mission Statement: "[T]o secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction."
  • Center for Global Development - Mission Statement: "[T]o reduce global poverty and inequality through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community to make the world a more prosperous, just, and safe place for us all."
  • Center for Social and Economic Research - an independent non-profit institute founded on the idea that research-based policy-making is vital for the economic welfare of societies. 
  • Conservation International "Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity."
  • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) - Mission Statement: "To reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, and enhance ecosystem resilience through high-quality international agricultural research, partnership and leadership."
  • Environmental Defense Fund - "[D]edicated to protecting the environmental rights of all people, including future generations. Among these rights are access to clean air and water, healthy and nourishing food, and flourishing ecosystems."
  • European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes - a Europe-wide network of institutes, researchers and students of various disciplines in the field of development studies.
  • Global Witness - For 19 years, Global Witness has run pioneering campaigns against natural resource-related conflict and corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses
  • Harvard Center for International Development - The Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University works to generate shared and sustainable prosperity in developing economies. 
  • Institute of Development Studies (IDS) - a leading global charity for international development research, teaching and communications.
  • Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) - "IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy Research, is the UK’s leading progressivethinktank. We produce rigorous research and innovative policy ideas for a fair, democratic and sustainable world."
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is a Canadian-based, public policy research institute that has a long history of conducting cutting-edge research into sustainable development.
  • International Water Management Institute - Mission Statement: "[T]o improve the management of land and water resources for food, livelihoods and the environment."
  • National Institute of Medial Research (NIMR) - the largest public health research institution in Tanzania. 
  • Overseas Development Institute (ODI) - Britain's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues.
  • Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) - one of the leading independent research institutions in Tanzania specialising in policy research on socio-economic and development issues.
  • The Danish Institute for International Studies -  "an independent research institution for international studies, financed primarily by the Danish state. We carry out research and analysis on a wide range of issues within the areas of globalisation, security and development."
  • The Earth Institute at Columbia University - Mission Statement: "[T]o help achieve sustainable development primarily by expanding the world’s understanding of Earth as one integrated system."
  • The Fabian Society - "It aims to promote: greater equality of power, wealth and opportunity; the value of collective action and public service; an accountable, tolerant and active democracy; citizenship, liberty and human rights; sustainable development; and multilateral international cooperation."
  • The Nordic Africa Institute - "The Nordic Africa Institute (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet) is a center for research, documentation and information on modern Africa in the Nordic region."

Environmental Sciences Databases

  • Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management - a database based at the University of Princeton that focuses on various aspects of the environment relating to energy and geosciences.
  • GreenFile - a database that focuses on human impact to the environment. Includes content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
  • Dictionary of Environmental Science and Technology - an online dictionary of all things environmental science.
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - Researches the environment and promotes “green” environmental practices.
  • GEOBASE - GEOBASE is a database of research on geology, human and physical geography, environmental sciences, oceanography, geomechanics, alternative energy sources, pollution, waste management and nature conservation.
  • Web of Science - Web of Science includes Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Web of Science identifies articles, reviews, proceeding papers, editorial reviews, news items and many other content formats on subjects with in the sciences including but not limited to environmental sciences, engineering, food sciences, life sciences and geography.

Economic and Environmental Development Journals

  • Development and Cooperation -a website and a monthly print magazine. "Our mission is to provide a credible forum of debate, involving governments, civil society, the private sector and academia at an international level."
  • Development Economics Papers - published by the Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD), this publication covers issues of development economics worldwide.
  • Global Economic Reviewpublishes scholarly economic research, both theoretical and empirical, on issues of vital concern to businesses, governments, and decision makers in Asia and the world. 
  • Africa Development Reviewa professional journal devoted to the study and analysis of development policy in Africa
  • Agronomy for Sustainable Developmentoffers scientific research on interactions between cropping systems and other activities in the context of sustainable development.
  • EconLit (1969- ) - covers the international literature on economics since 1969 and provides bibliographic citations, with selected abstracts, of journal articles, books, dissertations and working papers, as well as articles in collective works, such as conference proceedings, collected essay volumes and full text book reviews.

Books on this Topic from the CGS Virtual Bookshelf

Browse these titles from the Center for Global Studies Virtual Bookshelf, or search the bookshelf yourself to find more!

Departments at UIUC Relating to Sustainable Development

  • Department of Agriculture and Consumer Economics - The Department of ACE is known worldwide as one of the most respected departments in its discipline – with over 75 years at the University of Illinois. The Department has approximately 600 undergrads and about 75 M.S. and Ph.D. students. ACE faculty and staff have disciplinary backgrounds in economics, law, finance and/or business and use their expertise to lead innovative research, outreach and education programs in Illinois and around the world, including Africa, Asia, Canada, South America, and Europe. 
  • Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ScienceThe Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences is an interdisciplinary unit in applied sciences that brings biological, physical, and social scientists together to identify, teach, and publicize solutions for the sustainability of urban, managed, and natural ecosystems from the local to global scale.
  • School of Earth, Society, and EnvironmentThe School brings the resources of the departments of Atmospheric SciencesGeology, andGeography and GIScience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study the Earth System.
  • Department of GeographyThe Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science (GGIS) is part of the School of Earth, Society and Environment, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Department of Sociology- The Sociology major at the University of Illinois prepares a student for a variety of career options, developing skills ranging from research design to writing and presenting reports to diversity awareness. 
  • Department of Political Science - The Department of Political Science encourages students to acquire a broad understanding of political science and to pursue selected subfields of the discipline in depth.