Politics and Government

  • Illustrated photo of a person typing on a computer keyboard

    Commentary

    Preventing Cyber Attacks: Sharing Information About Tor

    While Tor has many benefits, it is also used to hide criminal activity online such as the recent cyber attacks against JPMorgan Chase and Sony Pictures. The U.S. government should share the IP addresses of Tor network nodes with U.S. critical infrastructure and financial firms so that future cyber attacks could be prevented.

    Dec 17, 2014

  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (L) discusses a report on the CIA's anti-terrorism tactics on the floor of the U.S. Senate as Senators Debbie Stabenow (rear) and Patty Murray look on, Washington, December 9, 2014

    Commentary

    Why the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA May Both Be Right

    Given that many questions of fact regarding the CIA's program of enhanced interrogation techniques can probably never be conclusively answered, the real issue comes down to a value judgment: whether inflicting physical pain on prisoners is an acceptable means of reducing the risk of terrorist attacks.

    Dec 12, 2014

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif addresses a news conference after a meeting in Vienna, November 24, 2014

    Commentary

    A Nuclear Extension Can Still Work, but Iran Must Show Flexibility

    The extension of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 is disappointing, but it's better than the alternatives. Now it's time for the Iranian government to show greater flexibility. It may have gained a few months, but in the long run, time is not on its side.

    Nov 26, 2014

  • 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

  • Report

    Looking Backward and Forward: Policy Issues in the Twenty-first Century

    This collection features twenty-five essays written between 2002 and 2007, covering a wide range of worldwide economic, political, security, and diplomatic issues.

    Nov 20, 2014

  • Michael Rich, Francis Fukuyama, Sheila Bair, Nicolas Berggruen, and Simon Sinek at RAND's Politics Aside 2014

    Blog

    What Makes a Good Leader? Ask Pope Francis, or Lady Gaga

    What makes an effective state? What makes a good leader? Panelists at RAND's Politics Aside event discussed leadership, governance, and how the service part of democracies has become too politicized.

    Nov 18, 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

  • Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves to the crowd in the holy city of Qom, October 2010

    Commentary

    Ignore Flap Over Obama Letter

    While it is not surprising that the alleged letter from President Obama to Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei has upset domestic critics of the nuclear negotiations, the alleged correspondence has also unsettled Israel and Saudi Arabia, which fear a “bad” deal with Iran and even secret collusion between Washington and Tehran. But such concerns seem unfounded.

    Nov 14, 2014

  • Afghan men attend an election campaign by Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in Kabul, June 8, 2014

    Commentary

    Are Ethnic Politics Afghanistan's Great Hope?

    Afghanistan's ethnic politics have tended to absorb inter-communal struggle more than exacerbate it. Afghan politicians have consistently opted for an ethnic balance of power once the votes are counted. The unity government deal brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry aims to restore the ethnic balance that persisted under Hamid Karzai for more than a decade.

    Nov 11, 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

  • A destroyed T-72 tank, which presumably came from Russia, is seen on a battlefield near separatist-controlled Starobesheve in eastern Ukraine October 2014

    Commentary

    Hitting the Pause Button: The 'Frozen Conflict' Dilemma in Ukraine

    “Frozen conflicts” describe places where fighting took place and has come to an end, yet no overall political solution, such as a peace treaty, has been reached. Ukraine is likely to host such conflicts for some time. Georgia's experience offers lessons for Ukraine.

    Nov 7, 2014

  • Gail Lopez-Henriquez wears an 'I Voted Today' sticker on Election Day morning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 4, 2014

    Commentary

    Republicans May Make Gains in Midterm Election, but Democrats Remain Strong Nationally

    The Republican Party has a strong chance of maintaining control of the House and possibly even gaining control of the Senate. But survey results suggest that, while individual races may vary, support for Republican candidates nationwide may be less than support for Democratic candidates.

    Nov 4, 2014

  • Supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) party cheer their leader, Nawaz Sharif (not pictured), during a campaign rally in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 2013

    Report

    Drivers of Long-Term Insecurity and Instability in Pakistan

    Already one of the most urbanized nations in South Asia, Pakistan is projected to have a majority of its population living in cities within three decades. Researchers examine Pakistan's increasing urbanization as a potential driver of long-term insecurity and instability, with particular attention to the cities of Karachi, Lahore, and Quetta.

    Oct 30, 2014

  • U.S. residents in line to vote

    Commentary

    Survey Says: House, Senate Races Too Close to Call

    Recent survey data suggests competitions for both houses of Congress are too close to call. While reported probability of voting for a given party has remained constant overall, churn in individual responses indicates some voters are changing their minds.

    Oct 27, 2014

  • Kurdish men, women, and children fleeing Syria to seek protection by the Turkish government as refugees

    Report

    Alternative Futures for Syria

    A December 2013 workshop evaluated possible outcomes from the Syrian civil war, but the period through August 2014 brought many changes. A reassessment of the workshop's findings shows that while a regime victory now appears to be likely, it would not be as big of a blow to ISIS due to the group's territorial gains in Iraq.

    Oct 22, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the National Security Agency from the Justice Department in Washington January 17, 2014

    Commentary

    Is Obama a Modern-Day Quintus Fabius Maximus?

    Critics say President Obama dragged his feet on sending more troops to Afghanistan, on addressing the dangers in Libya, on providing support to Syria's rebels and, most recently, on initiating military action against Islamic State. But is that necessarily such a bad thing?

    Oct 22, 2014

  • U.S. Capitol in autumn

    Commentary

    Voters Give Republicans an Edge in Senate Races, House Too Close to Call

    Significantly more survey respondents anticipate Republicans will take the Senate for their state compared to those who anticipate Democrats will. However, there is not a clear difference in opinion regarding the race for the House.

    Oct 16, 2014

  • Voter buttons on American flag

    Project

    The RAND 2014 Midterm Election Opinion Study

    The RAND 2014 Midterm Election Opinion Study tracks public opinion of the U.S. midterm elections by surveying the same people over time. This allows us to observe true changes in public opinion, rather than changes based on who was surveyed randomly.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • t-call-experts-hr

    Multimedia

    RAND Experts Discuss Extended Absence of Kim Jong-un

    RAND researchers Bruce Bennett and Andrew Scobell hosted a media conference call on Thursday, October 9 to discuss the extended absence of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the regional implications of a sudden change in North Korea's government, and China's role in the region. Media relations officer Joe Dougherty moderated the call.

    Oct 9, 2014