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.

  • A poll worker disinfects booths after every use during early voting in Knoxville, Tennessee, July 17, 2020, photo by Cavin Mattheis/News Sentinel

    Project

    Conducting Safe Elections During a Pandemic

    Aug 5, 2020

    There may be a continued need this fall for public health interventions—such as social distancing, reduced occupancy in indoor spaces, and aggressive sanitizing protocols—to limit the spread of COVID-19. How can the United States safely and securely hold its elections during this ongoing pandemic?

Explore Democracy

  • China's President Xi Jinping looks on during the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018, photo by Gulshan Khan/Pool/Reuters

    Testimony

    Continuity and Change in China's Foreign Policy

    China's hawkish and assertive foreign policy has experienced both continuity and change in recent years. What is the key criterion for evaluating the success of Beijing's foreign policy? And how do domestic pressures affect it?

    Sep 9, 2020

  • The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., photo by lucky-photographer/Getty Images

    Blog

    Summer Reading List for Congress

    During the August recess Hill staff should have an opportunity to step back from the fast pace of votes and hearing preparation to examine priorities for the fall and beyond. This list of must-read research and commentary covers some policy issues they will likely be addressing after the break.

    Aug 18, 2020

  • Protestors gather in Minsk, Belarus, to demand the resignation of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and the release of political prisoners, August 16, 2020, photo by Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    The West's Role in Belarus

    Belarus may be on the verge of political change. If allowed to help, how could the West support free and fair elections and the formation of a legitimate government?

    Aug 18, 2020

  • Blog

    The Postal Service, Election Security, Reducing Child Deaths: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the role of the U.S. Postal Service, preparing for the presidential election, reducing child deaths in Nigeria, and more.

    Jun 26, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Study on the Benefits and Drawbacks of Remote Voting: Final report

    Researchers examined the barriers to voting encountered by different groups of citizens and mapped the different types of remote voting solutions available in EU member states.

    Jun 25, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Study on the Benefits and Drawbacks of Remote Voting: Executive summary

    Researchers examined the barriers to voting encountered by different groups of citizens and mapped the different types of remote voting solutions available in EU member states.

    Jun 25, 2020

  • Voters prepare to cast their ballot in the Democratic primary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 2, 2020, photo by Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters

    Commentary

    Keep Voters Healthy. Keep Elections Secure. Can the U.S. Do Both?

    U.S. adversaries have stepped up cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns. The United States should expect these foes to take advantage of the logistical challenges of voting in a COVID-19 world to redouble their efforts against elections.

    Jun 22, 2020

  • Illustration of people talking, public discourse, truth decay

    Multimedia

    COVID-19 Briefing Series: A Crisis of Disinformation

    RAND's Jennifer Kavanagh and Todd Helmus discuss the effect of the pandemic on public trust in important sources of information and institutions that provide information.

    May 22, 2020

  • Blog

    A Proposed COVID-19 Cure, Economic Decline, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the unintended consequences of a proposed COVID-19 treatment, another wave of economic destruction, North Korea after Kim Jong Un, and more.

    May 1, 2020

  • 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