International Affairs

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RAND's international affairs research comprises a range of cross-cutting issues, including global economies and trade, space and maritime security, diplomacy, global health and education, nation building, and regional security and stability. RAND also analyzes the policies and effectiveness of international organizations such as the UN, NATO, European Union, and ASEAN.

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and UAE's deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces, meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, December 14, 2015, photo by Fred Dufour/Reuters/Pool

    Report

    China Invests Warily in the Middle East

    Dec 5, 2016

    China endeavors to protect its expanding interests in the Middle East by not taking sides in conflicts and controversies. The United States should encourage China to get more involved in efforts to improve regional stability while reassuring partners of its own commitment to the region.

  • ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris, France, June 2, 2015, photo by Benoit Tessier/Reuters

    Commentary

    Rex Tillerson's Many Challenges

    Dec 24, 2016

    If confirmed as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson will face a broad array of challenges. One may be to lend the administration consistency, while closing at least some of the deals that President-elect Trump has promised.

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  • A mother and daugher ride on an urban bike path

    Essay

    What Are the Social Determinants of Health?

    Health care alone can only go so far to promote health. Evidence suggests that where and how people live plays at least as big a role in how well and how long they live.

    Feb 24, 2017

  • Estonian soldiers in a military parade celebrate Estonia's Independence Day near the Russian border in Narva, February 24, 2015

    Report

    The Potential for Russian Hybrid Warfare in the Baltics

    Russia would likely have trouble using nonviolent tactics to destabilize the Baltics. Covert violent action is also unlikely to succeed on its own. Thus, the Baltics' main vulnerability is Russia's local superiority in conventional forces.

    Feb 23, 2017

  • President Tsai Ing-wen waves during National Day celebrations in Taipei, Taiwan, October 10, 2016

    Commentary

    Why China Should Feel Good About Taiwan

    Chinese leaders should seek to engage in good faith discussions with Taiwanese counterparts. Beijing should also recognize that Tsai's apparent tentativeness about the new U.S. administration could change if cross-Strait military tensions were to escalate.

    Feb 22, 2017

  • China's President Xi Jinping watches during a gift handover ceremony at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, January 18, 2017

    Commentary

    China's Opportunity—and Ours

    If the U.S. administration is interested in a collaborative but still firm way to influence Chinese behavior, China's halting efforts to join the U.S. as a sponsor and guarantor of the international order may offer a better approach than an accelerating confrontation.

    Feb 19, 2017

  • Report

    Improving Implementation of the Department of Defense Leahy Law

    The Leahy laws prohibit U.S. assistance to foreign security forces that have committed gross violations of human rights. This report analyzes the vetting process that helps the Department of Defense implement these laws and recommends improvements.

    Feb 17, 2017

  • Taiwanese Coast Guard patrol ship, Kaohsiung (CG 129), during a rescue drill near the coast of Itu Aba in the South China Sea, November 29, 2016

    Commentary

    History and Current Developments Regarding Taiwan's Coast Guard

    As Asia-Pacific countries develop policies to regulate maritime zones of jurisdiction, the importance of coast guards as instruments of state policy has been growing. Taiwan's Coast Guard is an increasingly effective force facilitating the protection and regulation of Taiwanese maritime rights and interests in the East and South China Sea.

    Feb 15, 2017

  • Journal Article

    Evaluating a Complex Research Capacity-Building Intervention: Reflections on an Evaluation of the African Institutions Initiative

    This article shares learning from the experience of conducting a participatory, real-time, 'theory driven' evaluation of the African Institutions Initiative, a Wellcome Trust-funded programme that aimed to build sustainable health research capacity in Africa at institutional and network levels, across seven research consortia.

    Feb 13, 2017

  • Report

    The Concert of Europe and Great-Power Governance Today: What Can the Order of 19th-Century Europe Teach Policymakers About International Order in the 21st Century?

    This Perspective describes the key principles of the Concert of Europe, analyzes its effects, and draws implications for future U.S. policy toward the international order.

    Feb 13, 2017

  • New shoe and old shoe side by side.

    Commentary

    Trends in Inequality and the World's Eight Richest Men

    While Oxfam reports have done a good job of bringing attention to the problem of inequality, they may give the false impression that global inequality has been rising instead of falling. Global inequality has actually been on the decline while inequality within the developed world is increasing.

    Feb 10, 2017

  • U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force special forces personnel participate in a training exercise at Naval Station Pascagoula, Mississippi, October 26, 2016

    Commentary

    The Mission to Counter WMD: Avoiding Missteps While Transitioning Responsibility

    U.S. Special Operations Command will soon lead the Pentagon's anti-WMD efforts. SOCOM is well positioned to contain and reduce threats, but will need new expertise to prevent the acquisition of related material and respond to crises.

    Feb 10, 2017

  • Displaced people who fled ISIS arrive at a military checkpoint before being transported to camps in eastern Mosul, Iraq, January 25, 2017

    Commentary

    Stabilizing Mosul After the Battle Against ISIS

    U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have retaken the east bank of Mosul and are planning to take the west soon. The military operations that oust ISIS are crucial to the city's liberation but failing to get the civilian response right risks a widening civil war.

    Feb 9, 2017

  • People fleeing violence in ISIS-controlled al-Bab, Syria arrive in the town's rebel-held outskirts, February 3, 2017

    Report

    Finding a Way Forward in Syria

    After six years of fighting in Syria, the odds of removing the Assad regime are worse than ever. But the new U.S. administration could help de-escalate the conflict by focusing on a realistic outcome: a decentralized Syria with agreed regional zones backed by external powers.

    Feb 8, 2017

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference following the talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, Hungary, February 2, 2017

    Commentary

    Dealing with a Revanchist Russia

    The deployment of additional U.S. forces and other NATO units to Poland, Norway, the Baltics, and other states symbolically reinforces the West's commitment to the alliance. But countering Russia's influence will require a fundamental reformulation of EU and U.S. political strategy.

    Feb 8, 2017

  • U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis (left) meets with South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn in Seoul, February 2, 2017

    Commentary

    Mattis' Mission in Asia

    U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis made his first overseas trip this week, visiting Japan and South Korea. He reassured them that U.S. alliances in East Asia will remain strong, while also clarifying Washington's expectations.

    Feb 6, 2017

  • Brochure

    Spotlight on 2016

    Spotlight, RAND Europe's annual review, features ways that our objective research and analysis expanded perspectives in 2016 to provide policy and decision makers the evidence and facts during a year of highly charged political debates.

    Jan 31, 2017

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump listens during their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017.

    Commentary

    Politics Across the Pond

    Donald Trump and Theresa May can't actually get much done on U.S.-U.K. trade in the short term. Whatever Trump and May say or agree to during this visit will be for political effect. Any real bargaining on the economics will take place years in the future.

    Jan 31, 2017

  • Project

    Developing a Protocol for the Evaluation of ECDC Disease Programmes

    The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is planning a future evaluation of its seven ECDC Disease Programmes and has asked RAND Europe to establish a common protocol for the evaluation.

    Jan 31, 2017

  • Hezbollah members salute during the funeral of Ali Fayyad, a senior commander who was killed fighting in Syria, Lebanon, March 2, 2016

    Commentary

    Hezbollah Is Winning the War in Syria

    Hezbollah's participation in operations in Syria have likely helped improve the group's interoperability with other military organizations, hone its tactics, and expand its ability to command and control forces in a combat environment—all of which can be exported back to its native Lebanon.

    Jan 30, 2017

  • Health data displaying cardiac conduction system

    Project

    Exploring the Value of Health Data

    To better understand the value of different types of health data, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations has asked RAND Europe to conduct a targeted rapid evidence review of current insights on the topic.

    Jan 29, 2017

  • Report

    Regional foreign policy dynamics and their implications for the Mediterranean Region

    This publication is part of a series of four RAND Perspectives (PE) each focusing on different challenges in the Mediterranean region. The focus of this PE is on regional foreign policy dynamics and their implications for stability and security.

    Jan 25, 2017