Reference Book of the Week: Political Handbook of the World
Published by CQ Press, the Political Handbook of the World 2007 is another good book for country information. It has more emphasis on politics and government information for the countries listed. If you want to get a good sense of the political conditions in a particular country, this is the book for you. This is also the book to get information on various intergovernmental organizations. The book is divided in two parts.
- Governments. These are the country entries. Entries are in alphabetical order. You start with the common name of the country, then the official name. Next you get a brief political status paragraph followed by some basic information. This is followed by the essay portion which looks at the country and its politics. Of particular interest is the listing of political parties and groups in a country. This feature of political parties and groups makes the Political Handbook a popular option for students.
- Intergovernmental Organizations. These are organizations defined as "groups with memberships composed of more than two states, governing bodies that meet with some degree of regularity, and groups that possess permanent secretariats or other continuing means for implementing collective decisions" (from the Preface). This is therefore a selective lists. It is arranged alphabetically. Some of the listed organizations are: Group of Seven/Group of Eight (often referred to in the news as the G-7 or the G-8 when they added Russia), Gulf Cooperation Council, Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the Southern Cone Common Market (commonly known as MERCOSUR).