Political Reform Movements

  • Georgia's President Georgy Margvelashvili waves while flanked by Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili (2nd L), Parliament speaker David Usupashvili (R) and Patriarch Ilia II during celebrations for the signing of an association agreement with the EU in June 2014

    Commentary

    Rough and Tumble of Building Democracy in Georgia

    Leadership squabbles and instincts for retribution are testing Georgia's democracy. If leaders do not come together to strengthen the political system and governance, Georgia's future could hang in the balance.

    Nov 26, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi hold a press conference after their meeting in Yangon, Myanmar, November 14, 2014

    Commentary

    Myanmar's Slow Path to Democracy

    The U.S. and its allies must act decisively and provide a strong foundation for Myanmar's long-term transformation. A failure to carefully guide the country's transition to a civilian rule would be a missed opportunity for the Obama administration and, more important, for Myanmar's 51 million citizens.

    Nov 16, 2014

  • The flags of China and Hong Kong are seen above tents outside Legislative Council Complex at an occupied area in Hong Kong November 11,2014

    Commentary

    The Mountains Are High and the Emperor Is Far Away

    Since September 22, tens of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Hong Kong, calling for universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election and the resignation of current Chief Executive Chun-ying Leung. When they took to Twitter to share their ideas and mobilize support, they revealed the profound disconnect that separates elements of Hong Kong society from their mainland counterparts.

    Nov 11, 2014

  • Afghanistan's CEO Abdullah Abdullah and President Ashraf Ghani walk with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, October 3, 2014

    Commentary

    What's the Plan? The Afghan Government

    With the election dispute settled, one can sense a feeling of hope and opportunity among the Afghan political spectrum. Members of each camp are voicing optimism and saying the right things, but before the unity government can address the country's issues, it must first clear the hurdle of appointing new leadership.

    Nov 10, 2014

  • Pro-democracy lawmakers protest as Li Fei (on screen), deputy general secretary of the National People's Congress standing committee, speaks during a briefing session in Hong Kong Sept. 1, 2014

    Commentary

    Big Trouble in Little China

    As China's central government and Hong Kong residents consider next steps after last week's decision on the 2017 chief executive election, they will do so against a background of deteriorating trust, declining social acceptance of integration, and a worsening of relations between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese society.

    Sep 9, 2014

  • Report

    Portfolio Assessment of the Department of State Internet Freedom Program

    Employing portfolio analysis techniques, the authors assessed the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL)'s Internet freedom program for FY 2012-2013 to determine its project portfolio's effectiveness in performance, balance, and synergy.

    Sep 4, 2014

  • A Free Syrian Army fighter throws a Molotov cocktail in West Aleppo December 2013

    Report

    Getting to Negotiations in Syria

    It appears that there is almost no prospect for a negotiated solution to the civil war in Syria in the near term. This is because the Syrian factions believe — perhaps rightly — that they have more to gain by carrying on the fight than by negotiating toward peace.

    Jul 14, 2014

  • A woman walks past European Parliament election campaign posters in Vilnius

    Commentary

    How 'Wired' Are the 2014 European Elections?

    The 2014 elections will prove a critical test of whether the modernisation of the EU's media strategies and increasing number of members of the European Parliament active on social networking sites will have an impact on citizens' political participation at the European level.

    May 21, 2014

  • Protests in Malaga, Spain against the government's spending cuts and failure to revive the moribund economy

    Commentary

    The European Democracy Paradox

    While social media and other tools have enhanced opportunities to participate in the political process, these new drivers do not seem to translate easily into offline political participation.

    May 21, 2014

  • Research Brief

    A New Approach to Security and Justice Sector Assistance: An Enhanced Partnership Planning Model

    RAND researchers examined ways to reshape security and justice sector assistance programs, and designed a new approach -- an Enhanced Partnership Planning Model that can be tailored to partner-nation needs and particular U.S. strategic interests.

    May 14, 2014

  • Man being searched at checkpoint

    Report

    Ways to Build Partnerships in the Arab World

    U.S. security assistance has largely been perceived in transactional terms, provided with the expectation that the partner nation will take some action in return that furthers U.S. interests in the region. Instead, security assistance should be seen in terms of building and sustaining relationships.

    May 14, 2014

  • A woman shouts slogans during a protest against separatism in Odessa held outside the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev April 15, 2014

    Commentary

    The Partition of Ukraine

    The argument for splitting Ukraine has little to do with either real divisions in the country or popular preferences. Until the Russian invasion of Crimea, the issue of separatism was simply absent from public debate.

    Apr 17, 2014

  • Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah attend an election campaign in Panjshir province March 31, 2014

    Commentary

    The Importance of the Election in Afghanistan

    It is easy to assume the outcome of the race doesn't really matter for U.S. policy. But an ossifying government excludes and disenfranchises youth with new ideas. Without popular participation, Afghanistan's future becomes more prone to partisan cleavages and extremism.

    Apr 7, 2014

  • Syrian refugees wave flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad

    Event

    Navigating Turmoil in the Middle East

    Dalia Dassa Kaye of RAND and Aaron Miller of the Wilson Center will discuss current events in the Middle East and weigh the prospects of success for U.S. diplomats working to navigate the region's many hot spots.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah hold posters of him during an election rally in Parwan province, northern Afghanistan, March 20, 2014

    Report

    Democracy in Afghanistan: The 2014 Election and Beyond

    Afghanistan's April 5th presidential election is the most important political event in the country's decade-long transition to democracy. A successful election would be a major blow to the Taliban and al Qaida, and would renew Afghan efforts to bring the war to a favorable conclusion. The international community should recognize that Afghanistan deserves support to get through the process.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • Supporters of Egypt's army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

    Commentary

    The Egyptian Regime's Achilles' Heel

    As the threat of the Muslim Brotherhood reclaiming power recedes, it will become difficult for the new authorities in Egypt to hold together a coalition that is built solely on its members' shared antipathy for the Islamist group.

    Feb 21, 2014

  • Anti-government protesters stand behind burning barricades in Kiev's Independence Square February 19, 2014

    Commentary

    How the West Can Help End the Violence in Ukraine

    The Ukrainian crisis has taken a dangerous and deadly turn for the worse with violent clashes between protesters and Interior Ministry troops. The West should move quickly on an aid package conditioned on economic and political reform.

    Feb 19, 2014

  • The site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad

    Commentary

    Iraq's Turmoil Highlights Extent and Limits of Iran's Influence

    Iran may be more influential in Iraq today than it has been since the Safavid era, but this is not so much due to Iranian strength as Iraqi weakness. Iraq will need Iran as long as it faces an uncertain future — unrest at home, war in Syria, and isolation from the Arab world.

    Jan 27, 2014

  • An anti-Gaddafi rebel prays and chants along a road during clashes with pro-Qaddafi forces March 2011

    Blog

    Libya and the Limits of Liberal Intervention

    A forthcoming book from RAND senior political scientist Christopher S. Chivvis recounts the story of how the United States and its European allies went to war against Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, why they won the war, and what the implications will be for NATO, Europe, and Libya.

    Jan 9, 2014

  • Ukrainian pro-EU demonstrators wave EU and Ukraine flags at a barricade in Independence Square in Kiev, December 18, 2013

    Commentary

    Ukraine's Murky Future

    While some see Ukraine choosing between European-style democracy and economic, political, and cultural backwardness in Russia's shadow, the fact is that Ukraine faces a difficult and murky path in any direction. The country is in dire financial straits, needing billions in loans to avoid bankruptcy.

    Dec 19, 2013