• Q&A

    Countering Truth Decay: Q&A with Ray Block, Jr.

    Ray Block, Jr., leads RAND's efforts to combat Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts and analysis in public life. It's basic disagreements over not just what's right, but what's real. He advises people to be active consumers of information.

    Jan 3, 2024

  • Commentary

    The Return of the Presidential Putsch

    Worldwide, there have been nine executive coups over the past decade. U.S. institutions and democratic norms survived a major test on January 6, 2021, but a host of reforms are needed to lower the risk of future executive coups. And international supporters of democracy must step up and provide more robust responses.

    Jan 11, 2024

Explore Democracy

  • Americans voting in an election, photo by adamkaz/Getty Images


    Preparing for a Perfect Storm of Threats to U.S. Elections

    As the 2024 U.S. presidential election approaches, a “perfect storm” of threats could materialize, potentially undermining public confidence in election outcomes at wide scale. How can government officials better prepare for and respond to such a scenario?

    Apr 9, 2024

  • A senior woman wearing earbuds uses her laptop while sitting on the floor, photo by Pekic/Getty Images


    Media Habits and Misinformation Susceptibility of Older Adults

    About one-third of Americans aged 55 years and older say they look at social media posts about political or social issues every day. What sources do they tend to trust? And how confident are they in their ability to prevent the spread of false information online?

    Feb 28, 2024

  • An older man using his cell phone, photo by Moyo Studio/Getty Images


    Three Ways to Stop the Spread of False Information

    Older generations are active online, but they are less likely than younger people to recognize and prevent the flow of misinformation. Three strategies could help: lateral reading, resisting emotional manipulation, and taking personal responsibility.

    Feb 8, 2024

  • Early voters brave the remains of Hurricane Zeta as they wait in line at a polling station in Annandale, Virginia, October 29, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters


    Preparing for Climate Change Risks to the 2024 Elections

    A natural disaster could quickly overwhelm a voting district and render prior planning moot. Officials should plan and practice how they will conduct elections in the wake of a disaster that displaces voters, destroys blank ballots, or damages election equipment.

    Jan 9, 2024

  • Globe made of puzzle pieces, photo by dem10/Getty Images


    Democracy at Risk? Summary of an International Conference on Challenges Facing Democracies

    Motivated by a worldwide decline in democracy, RAND held an international experts' conference on democracy and governance programming in May 2023. This document summarizes the conference's key findings.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • A man passes the front gate of Sejm (lower house of Polish parliament) before the first session of the newly elected Polish parliament in Warsaw, Poland, November 13, 2023, photo by Kacper Pempel/Reuters


    Cherish Allies While You Can: What Should the U.S. Do to Support the Incoming Polish Government?

    Plenty has been said about what lessons Poland's recent elections hold for pro-democracy forces across the wider West, as well as the message this election sends about a feared inevitability of autocracy, and the significance of this opposition win for European security. But what does the election of an opposition alliance mean for U.S. relations with Warsaw?

    Nov 14, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    Teacher Pay, the Costs of Insomnia, Wildfire Prevention: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on teachers' dissatisfaction with their pay and work hours, the staggering costs of insomnia, connections between wildfires and food insecurity., and more.

    Sep 15, 2023

  • Then-U.S. President Trump and Israel's Prime Mininister Netanyahu arrive to deliver joint remarks at the White House in Washington, January 28, 2020, photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters


    U.S. and Israel on Parallel Paths

    From the political roles of religious fundamentalism, to the inability of either side to find compromise with the other, to leaders facing legal struggles, the United States and Israel have a lot in common.

    Sep 6, 2023

  • A voter completes a mail-in ballot, photo by LeoPatrizi/Getty Images


    The Impact of State Voting Processes in the 2020 Election

    To safely conduct the 2020 general election amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many states changed their voting laws by implementing automatic voter registration, removing excuse requirements for absentee ballots, and expanding early voting. How did these changes affect voter turnout and choice of voting method?

    Jul 31, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    The Wagner Revolt, Housing in L.A., Cyberstalking: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the Wagner Group's power play against Russian leadership, how Truth Decay affects national security, why the U.S. legal system is underprepared to handle cyberstalking cases, and more.

    Jun 30, 2023

  • The U.S. Capitol at sunset on the eve of the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the building, in Washington, D.C., January 5, 2022, photo by Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters


    Truth Decay Is Putting U.S. National Security at Risk

    Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts and analysis in public life—could weaken the U.S. military, costs America credibility with its allies, and calls into question the nation's ability to respond to the next big crisis. How can the United States guard against these risks?

    Jun 28, 2023

  • International Congress, many flags of different countries on flagpoles, photo by Aleksandr Koltyrin/Getty Images


    Big Themes and Geopolitics with Robert B. Zoellick

    Robert B. Zoellick shares two complementary perspectives on risks to global democracy, identifying transnational trends and pointing out geopolitical shifts in Eurasia. His message concludes with implications for the future.

    Jun 27, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Cultural Evolution and the Economic Wealth of Nations

    This chapter reviews research on the cultural evolution of economic development around the globe, including the relationship between development outcomes and linguistic and religious ancestry.

    May 25, 2023

  • Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen (r) and former Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou in Taipei, Taiwan, May 20, 2016, photo by Tyrone Siu/Reuters


    Upcoming Presidential Election Will Clarify Taiwan's China Policy

    Until the Taiwanese presidential election next January, China, the United States, and many other countries will be watching Taiwan with bated breath. Across the Indo-Pacific region and the world, the hope would simply be that no matter who is elected, peace and stability continue to prevail in the Taiwan Strait.

    May 19, 2023

  • The U.S. Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C., December 5, 2022, photo by Graeme Sloan/Reuters


    Prospects for Bipartisanship in a Divided Country

    Political polarization affects democracy and discourse about public policy. But a series of workshops with diverse stakeholders discussing sensitive policy issues found that Americans from different demographic, economic, political, professional, and social backgrounds can reach consensus.

    Jan 19, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap


    U.S. Gun Laws, China's COVID Outbreak, Space in 2050: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on gun policy in America, the myth of America's “Ukraine fatigue,” the COVID outbreak in China, and more.

    Jan 13, 2023

  • A voter waits to cast his ballot in the 2022 U.S. midterm elections at Considine Little Rock Recreation Center in Detroit, Michigan, November 8, 2022, photo by Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters


    Whether Democracy Is Eroding or on the Upswing Depends on What State You Live In

    Voter laws, civic education opportunities, and trust in government are all important aspects of democracy that impact individuals' civic participation. If policymakers had better ways to measure and monitor this “civic infrastructure” beyond just voter turnout, a different, more complicated but complete picture of our democracy would likely emerge.

    Dec 13, 2022

  • Abstract representation of civic infrastructure, image by CSA-Printstock/Getty Images, design by Pete Soriano/RAND Corporation


    Defining and Measuring Civic Infrastructure

    Is the United States in a civic crisis? Or is American democracy simply evolving? A framework for defining and measuring civic infrastructure can help answer these questions—and preserve a healthy democracy.

    Nov 30, 2022