Democracy

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  • A crowd of people surrounding images representing the news, design by Alyson Youngblood/RAND

    Article

    What Americans Think of the News—and What That Means for Democracy

    Apr 28, 2020

    RAND researchers asked a nationally representative sample of adults about their news-consumption habits. The answers reveal clues about what it might take to address Truth Decay—the decline of facts in U.S. public life.

  • Supporters of the outgoing president, Donald Trump, climb a wall during a deadly mob assault on the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021, January 6, 2021, photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Battle of Capitol Hill

    Jan 11, 2021

    The deadly mob assault on the U.S. Capitol Building was a predictable possibility. Democracy held, but security failed, spectacularly. We need to be better prepared for future acts of political violence.

Explore Democracy

  • U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., September 16, 2021, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Commentary

    Summit Gives Biden Chance to Nudge Post-Soviet States Toward Democracy

    President Biden may invite Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine to his “summit for democracy” in December. By both praising and nudging these imperfect democracies to do more to achieve their democratic potential, Biden could give his agenda more meaning.

    Sep 20, 2021

  • Historic Lynchings and Present-Day Voting: What's the Connection? (C)

    Multimedia

    Historic Lynchings and Present-Day Voting: What’s the Connection?

    RAND associate economist Jhacova Williams shares the motivation behind her recent study examining to what extent historic lynchings could be linked to the contemporary voting behavior of Black Americans who live in the South.

    Aug 20, 2021

  • A worker holds stickers for voters at a polling station at the Princeton Baptist Church during the U.S. presidential election, in Princeton, North Carolina, November 8, 2016, photo by Chris Keane/Reuters

    News Release

    Historic Lynchings in the U.S. South Are Linked to Lower Levels of Voter Registration Among Black People

    Black Americans who reside in counties in the South where there was a higher number of lynchings from 1882 to 1930 have lower voter registration today, a likely sign of the lasting effects of historical racial animus.

    Jul 27, 2021

  • Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Joe Biden walk on the Colonnade prior to their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., April 16, 2021, photo by Doug Mills/Pool via CNP/InStar

    Commentary

    'Joe-Yoshi' Spirit Buoys Japan-U.S. Alliance in Turbulent Seas

    President Biden and Prime Minister Suga appear to have established a warm, personal rapport while communicating a clear vision of the importance of working together to end the pandemic, combat climate change, preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific, and defend democracy.

    Apr 20, 2021

  • People are silhouetted as they hold mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a binary code and a Russian flag, in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 29, 2014, photo by Dado Ruvic/Reuters

    Report

    PSAs Might Prevent Foreign Disinformation from Taking Hold

    Tests with focus groups suggest that Americans are vulnerable to Russian-made memes. The participants responded positively to a public service announcement about foreign election interference, especially after they learned that they had just viewed content from Russia designed to breed dissension.

    Mar 29, 2021

  • Illustration of hand holding U.S. flag superimposed on a head, photo by Scar1984/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Book Review: 'Liberalism, the Blob, and American Foreign Policy: Evidence and Methodology' by Robert Jervis

    Robert Jervis' “Liberalism, the Blob, and American Foreign Policy: Evidence and Methodology” is a thoughtful review of two books written by prominent international relations theorists John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. Jervis focuses his critique primarily on methodology and argues that the actual historical record is more complicated than either Mearsheimer or Walt suggests.

    Mar 12, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Study on Child Participation in EU Political and Democratic Life: Final Report

    RAND Europe and Eurochild were contracted by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers to support this study. This Final Report summarises the findings from all research methodologies applied in this study.

    Feb 23, 2021

  • A person shows the three-finger. salute in front of a placard with the image of Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 15, 2021, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Myanmar's Coup and Its Recent Elections: Institutions Matter

    What was the Myanmar military's calculus in deciding to stage a coup against the civilian-led government? The history of coups and elections provides some insights.

    Feb 15, 2021

  • Myanmar Army armored vehicles drive along a street after they seized power in a coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, February 2, 2021, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Myanmar Coup: First Foreign Policy Test for President Biden

    Shortly after dawn on February 1, Myanmar's military staged a coup against the nation's fledgling civilian government. There are no easy solutions, and how the Biden administration responds will be widely seen as a template for other thorny situations in the future.

    Feb 9, 2021

  • Brochure

    Spotlight 2020–2021

    Spotlight 2020-2021 features examples of our research that helped to improve people's lives during a turbulent year. It also highlights a selection of research initiatives on the horizon for 2021.

    Jan 26, 2021

  • Supporters of President Donald Trump confront police in the U.S. Capitol near the entrance to the Senate, in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021, photo by Mike Theiler/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why We Need a January 6 Commission to Investigate the Attack on the Capitol

    The history of politically charged violence in and against the United States can be read in the reports of its national commissions. The takeover of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 demands such an inquiry.

    Jan 20, 2021

  • Violence Following Inauguration

    Multimedia

    The Likelihood of Violence Following the U.S. Presidential Inauguration

    Brian Michael Jenkins, senior adviser to the RAND president, discusses the likelihood of violence that could occur following Inauguration Day in response to election results.

    Jan 15, 2021

  • An explosion caused by a police munition is seen while supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021, photo by Leah Millis/Reuters

    Announcement

    Statement by Michael D. Rich on the U.S. Capitol Siege

    The audacity of the rioters at the U.S. Capitol and the violence they perpetrated should have no place in the political process, although tragically, and all too often, violence finds its home in the United States.

    Jan 7, 2021

  • Blog

    The Most Popular RAND Research of 2020

    Here are the RAND research projects that resonated most in 2020, a year unlike any in living memory. Topics include remote learning, election disinformation, income inequality, and more.

    Dec 21, 2020

  • A line chart indicating a decline, with a government building in the background, images by Naypong Studio/Adobe Stock; design by Pete Soriano

    Report

    The Drivers of Institutional Trust and Distrust

    Trust in the government, news media, and other institutions has declined in the past two decades. What factors might explain this decline? And what else do we need to learn in order to begin rebuilding public trust?

    Nov 17, 2020

  • Blog

    'Vaccine Nationalism,' a Pandemic Election, Women in the Workforce: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on why 'vaccine nationalism' could be costly, how Americans feel about voting during a pandemic, why women are leaving the workforce, and more.

    Oct 30, 2020

  • Woman and two young children place a ballot in a mailbox, photo by ArtMarie/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Democracy Depends on Hearing All Voters' Voices

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the confinement measures imposed in response, holding safe, effective, and timely democratic elections has become increasingly challenging. The risk of disenfranchising large parts of the electorate is real and should be prevented. In these difficult circumstances, governments need to increase their efforts to guarantee that every voter can exercise their right to vote.

    Oct 30, 2020

  • A man wearing a protective mask due to COVID-19 pandemic holds a sign outside Madison Square Garden, which is used as a polling station, on the first day of early voting in Manhattan, New York, October 24, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Report

    Do Americans Expect Safe and Secure Elections?

    The number of Americans who expect the election to be conducted safely declined slightly from May to August, from 62 to 60 percent. And the percentage of survey respondents expecting their vote to be accurately counted declined from 59 percent to 54 percent.

    Oct 29, 2020

  • Voters wait in line to cast ballots on the first day of early voting in New City, a New York City suburb, New York, October 24, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Report

    How Is the Pandemic Influencing Intention to Vote?

    Changes in intention to vote and intended voting method were modest from May to August but notable nonetheless. Those with low perceptions of safety were among the least likely to vote. And among those likely to vote, there was a continued shift toward mail-in voting.

    Oct 29, 2020