Google Scholar searches specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Also has an important citation tool to take advantage of.
Key databases for consideration:
Political Science Complete contains full text for over 450 journals, and indexing and abstracts for nearly 2,100 titles, (including top-ranked scholarly journals). The database also features 330 full-text reference books and monographs, and over 35,000 full-text conference papers, including those of the International Political Science Association. PSC includes a subject-specific thesaurus with 10,453 terms to provide subject searching guidance to researchers.
As your your topics focus on issues in the 1980s, Historical Abstracts should serve as a key resource. Note that you can search both Historical Abstracts and Political Science Complete at the same time. Just go under "choose databases" and select the additional database.
EconLit with Full Text contains all of the content available in EconLit, plus full text for more than 400 publications including titles from the American economic Association such as: American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, and Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Includes bibliographic records from the literature of public policy, social policy and the social sciences. Types of publications indexed include books, periodicals and selected local, state, national and international government documents.