International politics and government

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on international politics and government. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

25.01.2016The South China Sea dispute: January 2016 update
Southeast Asia is home to a range of complex territorial disputes, but the most intractable and combustible is the South China Sea dispute. Tensions between the rival countries have been on the rise in recent years.
12.01.2016The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review
This Commons Library briefing paper examines how the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review will affect the armed forces.
11.01.2016The UK National Security Council
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper on the UK National Security Council (NSC). Using a Q&A format, the briefing provides basic information about its origins, mandate and operation.
08.01.2016Bangladesh: January 2016 update
The Commons Library has published a briefing paper which looks at political and security developments in Bangladesh since the beginning of 2015. The ruling Awami League (AL) seems to be in the ascendancy, while its bitter rival, the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), is in apparent retreat.
14.12.2015The 2015 UK National Security Strategy
The Commons Library has published a briefing which provides an overview and analysis of the 2015 UK National Security Strategy (NSS). Published on 23 November 2015, the NSS is incorporated into a single document with the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which sets out the specific policies and capabilities flowing from the strategy.
30.11.2015Syria: a reading list
This is a reading list that covers the situation in Syria, the complexity of battling Syrian groups and of outside interventions, the legal implications of any UK intervention and other aspects that will form part of one of the House's most significant debates of recent years.
30.11.2015Pakistan: November 2015 update
The Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) government, led by prime minister Nawaz Sharif, is now well into its third year in power. Its tenure has arguably seen a weakening of civilian authority, although there seems little prospect of a military coup. But the overall security situation within the country has improved markedly during 2015.
16.11.2015Famagusta debate
The House of Commons is debating a Backbench Business motion on 16 November 2015 that calls for the Cypriot city of Famagusta to be returned by Turkey to its 'lawful inhabitants'.
29.10.2015Kashmir: October 2015 update
India-Pakistan relations remain fraught with danger and mistrust, not least over Kashmir. In September, with regular exchanges of fire across the Line of Control and continuing armed attacks against the security forces in Indian Kashmir by Pakistan-based groups, Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, made more peace proposals. But India responded coolly, arguing that Pakistan should end its support for terrorism first.
27.10.2015Afghanistan: back on the agenda?
As the Taliban has made gains and ISIS has a foothold in Afghanistan, the US has announced that it will not withdraw its troops so quickly as planned.

Lords Library Notes

01.12.2014The Role of Soft Power and Non-Military Options in Conflict Prevention
On 5 December 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of the role of soft power and non-military options in conflict prevention'.
24.03.2014Britain and the First World War: Parliament, Empire and Commemoration
The centenary of the start of the First World War will be marked in 2014. Britain entered the conflict in August 1914 and remained at war until November 1918.
10.03.2014Second Chambers
This Library Note looks at bicameral legislatures in other parts of the world and provides an overview of some of the features of other second chambers, and how these compare to the current House of Lords.
13.02.2014Debate on 27 February: Syria and the Middle East
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 27 February 2014 on recent developments in Syria and the Middle East.
19.11.2013Debate on 21 November: Her Majesty's Government's Policy Towards Countries Responsible for Violations of Human Rights
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate to be held on Thursday, 21 November to take note of Her Majesty's Government's policy towards countries responsible for violations of human rights.


22.10.2015Automation in Military Operations
Automated technology is increasingly used in military activities such as intelligence gathering, navigation and weapons delivery. The most widespread use of automated technology to date has been remotely piloted air systems. However, each of the main military domains - air, land and sea - make use of automation. This POSTnote outlines current and potential future applications of automation in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and in combat. It then summarises debate over legal, ethical and societal issues, including debate over whether a pre-emptive ban is needed on future lethal autonomous weapons systems.

Select Committee Reports

15.12.2011Government response to the ninth report from the Foreign Affairs Select Committee on UK-Brazil relations....
Government response. Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
24.03.2010Turks and Caicos Islands.
Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
18.03.2010Global Security: UK-US Relations.
Foreign Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
14.10.2009Cross-border co-operation between the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Government response. Northern Ireland Office; Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
06.10.2009Global security: Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
Government response. Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House is concerned that tourists in India's Andaman Islands are treating the recently-contacted Jarawa tribe like an attraction in a human safari park; notes the ongoing media ...
That this House notes that 26 February 2012 represents the 20th anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy when 613 men, women and children were killed by invading Armenian forces; further ...
That this House salutes the courage and leadership of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords over the last year; believes that she has been a shining example of democracy to people across ...
That this House notes with sadness and regret the discovery of over 6,000 unmarked graves in the area of demarcation known as the Line-of-Control on the border between Indian and Pakistani ...
That this House notes that several senior diplomats have defected from the Iranian foreign service in revulsion at the actions of the Tehran regime; further notes that in so doing they ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses