Politics and Government

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

    Blog

    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

  • 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. Capitol in autumn

    Blog

    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

  • A teenage election volunteer helping a senior man use a touch screen

    Blog

    Midterm Elections Are Less Than a Month Away: What Does the Data Say About Voters?

    Survey responses indicate many U.S. voters already know how they'll cast their ballots in the upcoming midterm elections. But RAND's unique methodology provides an interesting perspective on those who don't lean strongly toward Republican or Democratic candidates.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • A justice scale with more money on one side than the other

    Blog

    Survey Asks Democrats, Republicans, Should the Government Reduce Income Inequality?

    Today, Democrats are more than six times likelier than Republicans to believe the U.S. government should play a role in reducing income inequality. This is not due to differences in age, gender, education, or income distributions among the two parties.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • Report

    Methodology of the RAND Midterm 2014 Election Panel

    The RAND Midterm Election Panel uses the American Life Panel to study voting intentions, public opinion, and voter behavior. This document describes our methodology.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • t-call-experts-hr

    Multimedia

    Hong Kong Protests and Their Potential Regional and Global Implications

    RAND researchers Andrew Scobell and Scott Harold hosted a media conference call on Friday, Oct. 3 to discuss the Hong Kong protests and their potential regional and global implications. Media relations officer Joe Dougherty moderated the call.

    Oct 3, 2014

  • Afghan national security adviser Hanif Atmar (front R) and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham sign the bilateral security agreement as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (back 3rd R) and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah (back 3rd L) look on, in Kabul, September 30, 2014

    Blog

    The Future Lies in Afghanistan's Hands

    With the signing of international security agreements this week, there's been a resurgence of hope that a bright future for Afghanistan is possible. But that future will ultimately be determined only by the Afghans.

    Oct 3, 2014

  • Report

    Methodology of the RAND Continuous 2012 Presidential Election Poll

    Gives a detailed account of the methodology underlying the he RAND Continuous 2012 Presidential Election Poll.

    Oct 3, 2014

  • Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby briefs reporters on airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria, Sept. 25, 2014

    Blog

    An Inconvenient War

    Congress has not addressed President Obama's plans to take other military steps against ISIS. Some members of Congress do not want to vote on the use of military force until after the upcoming elections. Among these are some who fear their vote could cost them votes.

    Sep 25, 2014

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani

    Blog

    Afghanistan's Best Bet

    On Sunday, Ashraf Ghani was declared the victor in a contest to determine Afghanistan's next president. The process has been infuriating but the end product of this mess was the best possible outcome: best for Afghanistan, best for the region, and best for the United States.

    Sep 24, 2014

  • People walking near the Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia

    Blog

    One Day in the Life of Russia

    Russia faces major challenges, some self-inflicted. Freedoms vital to the creation of a modern civil society are declining. Dominant, state-controlled energy and aerospace companies are losing ground, weakening a strained economy.

    Sep 23, 2014

  • A supporter of the 'Yes' campaign stands outside a polling station during the referendum on Scottish independence in Pitlochry, Scotland, September 18, 2014

    Blog

    Will Scotland's Vote Spur Separatism in Asia?

    Scotland's vote could be a step toward disrupting the historical pattern of independence being won by force, not granted after a vote. This was the paradigm of the past, and it remains the paradigm of the present. But the vote in Scotland just might help set a new roadmap for the future.

    Sep 22, 2014

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives field guidance at the October 8 Factory in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang August 31, 2014

    Blog

    What Does North Korea Want?

    Currently, three U.S. citizens — Matthew Todd Miller, Jeffrey Fowle, and Kenneth Bae — are being detained in North Korea. It is likely that North Korea wants someone like a former U.S. president to come to North Korea instead of U.S. Ambassador Bob King, whose visits were cancelled.

    Sep 18, 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

    Blog

    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

  • Afghan election workers count ballot papers for an audit of the presidential run-off in Kabul August 27, 2014

    Blog

    Afghanistan Back to the Brink

    The impasse between the Abdullah and Ghani camps has grown so significant that some senior Afghan political and security officials considered imposing an interim government, a move tantamount to a coup.

    Sep 8, 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

  • Research Brief

    The Conflict in Syria: Understanding and Avoiding Regional Spillover Effects

    Researchers examined the literature of armed conflict to determine the main factors that are likely to contribute to or impede the spread of violence from civil war and insurgency, then examined how they apply to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan.

    Aug 27, 2014