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  • President Faure Gnassingbe and Presidential candidate of UNIR (Union for the Republic) winner of the presidential election speaks in front of his supporters at his headquarters in Lome, Togo, February 24, 2020, photo by Luc Gnago/Reuters

    Commentary

    Family Matters: More of the Same in Togo

    Faure Gnassingbe was reelected in February to a fourth term as president of Togo. The result was no surprise. Due to the stacked system he and his father built, Faure is likely to rule until 2030 or beyond.

    Mar 6, 2020

  • RAND leaders and media experts speak at a “Truth Decay and the Media” panel on February 20, 2020 at RAND's Santa Monica headquarters.

    Multimedia

    How the Media Can Help Fight Truth Decay

    Truth Decay is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. How might media organizations address this?

    Feb 20, 2020

  • Blog

    Civic Engagement and Health, the State of the Union, Better Sleep: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the link between civic engagement and health, policy insights from the State of the Union address, what couples can do to improve their sleep, and more.

    Feb 7, 2020

  • People leaving a polling place, wearing I Voted stickers, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Civic Engagement and Keeping the Public Engaged in Public Health

    Civic engagement—activities like voting and volunteering—is essential for the health of democracy. A turn at the ballot box might also improve physical and mental health.

    Feb 4, 2020

  • Iraqi demonstrators carry pictures of people who were killed during ongoing anti-government protests in Nassiriya, Iraq, December 4, 2019, photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iraq at the Crossroads

    The protests gripping Iraq pose an extraordinary challenge to Baghdad's political leadership, which must move the country ahead or step aside. Unless it finds the will to compromise for the common good, the governing class could risk thrusting the country into civil war.

    Dec 18, 2019

  • Journal Article

    The Cultural Foundations of Modern Democracies

    This article identifies which cultural values are closely coupled with changes in democracy across nations in the twentieth century, and tests whether changes in democracy precede or follow changes in cultural values.

    Dec 12, 2019

  • Riot police move to disperse demonstrators during a protest demanding an early parliamentary election in Tbilisi, Georgia, November 18, 2019, photo by Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters

    Commentary

    Whither Georgia?

    Georgia's status as a post-Soviet democratic leader is under challenge. A flawed presidential election, use of force against protesters, and political manipulations have strained public confidence and brought mounting public protests. Domestic calm may hinge on improving political dialogue and conducting free and fair parliamentary elections next year.

    Dec 9, 2019

  • Pro-democratic winning candidates gather outside the campus of the Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China, November 25, 2019, photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Hong Kong's Historic Election Probably Won't Reverse Current Trends

    Whatever fate awaits Hong Kong, recent trends leave little reason for optimism. It is becoming an increasingly violent and polarized place that might prompt Chinese military action, and the crisis has opened a new wound in U.S.–China relations. The best hope is that the recent election reminds all sides why Hong Kong is worth saving.

    Nov 27, 2019

  • An Iraqi demonstrator gestures during the ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq, November 18, 2019, photo by Alaa Al-MarjaniReuters

    Commentary

    The Arab Spring in the Upside-Down

    Where the original Arab Spring protests removed authoritarian leaders, the current demonstrators in Iraq and Lebanon are trying to topple popularly elected governments. This could have dramatic implications for the future of representative democracy in the Middle East.

    Nov 21, 2019

  • Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attends a news conference after her policy address for 2019, in Hong Kong, China, October 16, 2019, photo by Umit Bektas/Reuters

    Commentary

    How to Resolve the Hong Kong Crisis

    Rebuilding trust between the residents of Hong Kong and their government will be an extremely difficult task. But with some reasonable compromises on both sides, Hong Kong has the opportunity to step back from the brink of disaster.

    Oct 23, 2019

  • Detail of the english word "democracy" highlighted and its definition from the dictionary, photo by Lobro78/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How Can the United States Support Democracies in the Former USSR?

    The West has only modest capacity to influence circumstances in most post-Soviet countries. In Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova, however, the West has the potential to make a real difference by supporting civil society and improved governance.

    Sep 16, 2019

  • Kashmiri women walk past an Indian security personnel during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the government, in Srinagar, August 11, 2019, photo by Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

    Commentary

    India and Kashmir, Now One

    In a legally risky move that's already having consequences on the ground, the Modi government scrapped the part of the Indian constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir special autonomous status. How consequential is this? And how should the international community react?

    Aug 13, 2019

  • Indian security personnel stand guard along a deserted street during restrictions in Jammu, August 5, 2019, photo by Mukesh Gupta/Reuters

    Commentary

    Kashmir's Democracy—and the World's

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi just changed the status of the restive Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This may be the most important event in an enormously volatile part of the world since the end of the last century, with repercussions that will extend far beyond Kashmir itself.

    Aug 8, 2019

  • Boris Johnson arrives at the Conservative Party headquarters after being announced as Britain's next prime minister, London, July 23, 2019, photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Challenging Moment for Boris Johnson

    As Britain's next prime minister, Boris Johnson will bring advantages, and disadvantages, in seeking to lead the United Kingdom through a period as challenging as the Suez Crisis or (perhaps) the darkest days of World War II.

    Jul 23, 2019

  • Members of Russia's National Guard block participants of a rally in support of detained Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in Moscow, Russia, June 12, 2019, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Commentary

    A Democratic Spring Could Be Stirring in Eurasia. The West's Quiet Support Can Help

    An incipient Eurasian “democratic spring” may not yet be on the horizon, but political awareness and civil society are gaining ground. The West could contribute by continuing to help to fill information vacuums, and by offering training and support for nurturing civil society, conducting free and fair elections, and developing competitive politics.

    Jun 13, 2019

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses supporters after election results are announced in New Delhi, May 23, 2019, photo by Adnan Abidi/Reuters

    Commentary

    Modi Fans Nationalist Flames, Cruises to Victory in Indian Elections

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2019 victory was a much greater achievement than his equally unexpected victory five years ago. Recognizing his weak position on economic and social issues, Modi shifted his campaign to a nationalist plank, and his party won overwhelmingly even in states where it lost elections just six months prior.

    Jun 3, 2019

  • Indonesian president Joko Widodo greets his supporters during a campaign rally at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 13, 2019, photo by Willy Kurniawan/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Jokowi’s Reelection Means for Indonesia

    On April 17, Indonesia conducted the largest single-day vote in any nation's history. President Joko Widodo has likely netted a second term. What does that mean for his nation and its place in the world?

    Apr 25, 2019

  • Imam Ibrahim Abdul Halim of the Linwood Mosque is embraced by Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Coptic Church, in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019, photo by Edgar Su/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Christchurch Massacre Was Another Internet-Enabled Atrocity

    Terrorism has become an internet-enabled abuse—incited, propagated, and sometimes organized and concealed by online activity. Who should be held accountable for abusive content, the author or the publisher? And what role should the government play in regulating it?

    Mar 20, 2019

  • Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan review the honour guard at a welcoming ceremony in Tbilisi, Georgia, May 30, 2018

    Commentary

    Democratic Bright Spots in the South Caucasus

    Democratic bright spots are emerging in Armenia and Georgia despite their being wedged between less-than-democratic regional powers. Both countries seek to consolidate democratic gains and overcome poverty while managing daunting challenges from Russia and separatist conflicts. While pursuing these priorities, the countries deserve continued, strong Western support.

    Jan 23, 2019