International Politics


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.

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a news conference during a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, February 5, 2015, photo by Francois Lenoir/Reuters


    NATO Needs a Comprehensive Strategy for Russia

    Mar 25, 2015

    Russia's intervention in Ukraine has shattered the vision of a stable, secure, and economically healthy Europe that's guided NATO and EU policy for two decades. NATO, working closely with the EU, needs to regain the initiative to proactively seek peace and stability in Europe and find a coherent, cohesive way forward.

  • Meeting to discuss Iran nuclear deal at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne March 29, 2015, photo by Brendan Smialowski/Pool/Reuters


    The Days After a Deal with Iran

    Jul 14, 2015

    Now that a nuclear agreement has been struck, what will be the implications for U.S. regional strategy, Iran's own foreign policy orientation, the response from regional partners, the global non-proliferation regime, and the role of Congress in implementation of the agreement?

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  • Afghan National Army officers stand at attention at the Kabul Military Training Center, Afghanistan, October 7, 2015


    Improving the U.S. Security Assistance Model

    The United States often approaches security assistance the same way it did in Vietnam, with the same results. A better way would be to focus on politics and shaping the political context.

    Nov 18, 2015

  • Journal Article

    Returns to Education in Developing Countries: Evidence from the Living Standards and Measurement Study Surveys

    This study uses 61 nationally representative household surveys from 25 developing countries between 1985 and 2012 to assess whether returns to education are systematically higher in developing countries.

    Nov 18, 2015

  • Report

    Cybersecurity in the European Union and Beyond: Exploring the Threats and Policy Responses

    The study seeks to better understand cybersecurity threats and existing cybersecurity capabilities in the European Union and the United States, examining in tandem transnational cooperation and perceptions of the effectiveness of the EU response.

    Nov 18, 2015

  • French Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (L), French President Francois Hollande (C), French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (R), and students observe a moment of silence at the Sorbonne University, Paris, France, November 16, 2015


    Insights on the Paris Terror Attacks from RAND Experts

    RAND experts weigh in on what the wave of coordinated terror attacks across Paris means for France, the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, the global refugee crisis, and more.

    Nov 17, 2015

  • A French soldier from Operation Barkhane rides in an armoured vehicle in Timbuktu, November 5, 2014


    The French Way of War

    There is a French way of warfare that reflects the French military's lack of resources and its modest sense of what it can achieve. They specialize in carefully apportioned and usually small but lethal operations, often behind the scenes.

    Nov 17, 2015

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R), and UN Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura address the media in Vienna, Austria, November 14, 2015


    Bosnia Was Hard, Syria Is Harder

    To find peace in Syria, cooperation among outside powers will be an essential first step. But before going forward, the great powers should soberly assess prospects for an enduring peace accord, as well as the resources required.

    Nov 16, 2015

  • Henry Rowen giving a briefing at RAND on the future of China, June 14, 2007


    Henry S. Rowen, Second President of RAND, Dies at 90

    Henry “Harry” S. Rowen, who as the second president of the RAND Corporation oversaw the creation of its graduate school and extended RAND's reach into domestic policy in the 1970s, has died.

    Nov 16, 2015

  • Elementary students in a classroom with a teacher


    Implementing Education Reforms to Enhance School Performance

    Although countries differ greatly in how their education systems are structured, financed, and the extent to which they are centralized, they share common obstacles that undermine reform success. Beyond the obvious steps of providing adequate resources and professional development, there are ways to improve the implementation of school-wide reforms.

    Nov 13, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to servicemen during a training exercise at the Donguz testing range in Orenburg region, Russia, September 19, 2015


    Is Winter Coming? Or, Our Russia Strategy

    In Washington, and across the globe, many ask if Russian actions represent a new challenge to international order, and, if so, what is the best course of action to respond to it.

    Nov 12, 2015

  • Soledad O'Brien, Chuck Hagel, Michael Rich, and Michael Lynton at One Night with RAND, November 11, 2015


    What Is America's Role in the World?

    One Night with RAND brought together leaders in business, philanthropy, government, academia, and media for a discussion about the international strategic choices that will shape the U.S. role in the world for years to come.

    Nov 12, 2015

  • The remains of a Russian airliner that crashed are found near Al-Arish, Egypt, October 31, 2015


    Could the Russian Jet Crash in Egypt Prompt a Change of Direction for Putin and Russia?

    If ISIS was responsible for the downing of Metrojet Flight 9268, a Russian passenger jet, this may alter the strategic equation for Moscow.

    Nov 9, 2015

  • U.S. Marines receive a safety brief before they conduct live-fire drills during Trident Juncture 2015 in Almeria, Spain, October 27, 2015


    Building Interoperability for European Defense

    To make the most out of declining defense budgets, the U.S. needs to engage European forces to build interoperability that would enable joint operations to deter and defeat potential adversaries, even with little advance notice. But building interoperable units has often proved difficult even among the friendliest of nations.

    Nov 9, 2015

  • Report

    The Continued Evolution of U.S. Law of Armed Conflict Implementation: Implications for the U.S. Military

    RAND researchers examine potential strategic, technological, and normative trends that may affect the future evolution of U.S. policies that implement the Law of Armed Conflict, and assess the resulting implications for the U.S. military.

    Nov 9, 2015

  • Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. President Barack Obama after their joint news conference in Washington March 24, 2015


    Saving Afghanistan: More Than Just Troops

    President Obama's decision to preserve troop strength in Afghanistan is a major step in the right direction. But his commitment to continued support for President Ghani and the national unity government as they pursue critical reforms will determine whether the U.S. troop commitment has any value.

    Nov 5, 2015

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks in Tehran after returning from the annual UN General, September 29, 2015


    The Impact of Sanctions Relief on Iran

    The Iran nuclear deal will provide Iran with significant sanctions relief and ease some of its economic stresses. But several factors will limit the regime's ability to grow the economy and use the new resources to achieve its foreign policy objectives.

    Nov 5, 2015

  • The Foreign Office building by Sir George Gilbert Scott, viewed from Horse Guards Road


    Cornish Supports 'Strengthening Britain’s Voice in the World'

    To remedy the growing imbalance between its spending on defence, development and diplomacy, the UK government must reverse cuts to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s budget, according to a Strategic Defence and Security Review to which Paul Cornish is a signatory.

    Nov 3, 2015

  • A money changer displays U.S. and Iranian banknotes at the Grand Bazaar in central Tehran, October 7, 2015


    Unlocking Iran's Economy

    While Rouhani and his team want Iran's gradual opening, reactionary forces aligned with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, much of the security establishment, and the clergy are likely to stand guard against “anti-revolutionary” tendencies and policies.

    Nov 2, 2015

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi, October 22, 2015


    The West Needs to Take a Tougher Line with Putin

    By responding more robustly to Russia's interventions, the West could reduce military asymmetries in Ukraine and Syria and improve prospects for negotiated outcomes.

    Nov 1, 2015

  • A schoolgirl walks past damaged buildings in Maarrat al-Numan, Syria, October 28, 2015


    Partition Syria to Crush the Islamic State

    The Islamic State will never join in any settlement. Peace in Syria therefore requires that everyone else stop fighting each other and join in suppressing the Islamic State.

    Nov 1, 2015

  • USS Lassen conducts exercises with Korean and Turkish navy ships


    How Will China Respond to Future U.S. Freedom of Navigation Ops?

    On October 27, the USS Lassen carried out the first freedom of navigation patrol to challenge China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. In assessing China's potential response to follow-on operations, the extremes of either complete inaction or a military attack can be ruled out.

    Oct 29, 2015