Democracy

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  • 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

  • Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah attend an election campaign in Panjshir province March 31, 2014

    Commentary

    The Importance of the Election in Afghanistan

    It is easy to assume the outcome of the race doesn't really matter for U.S. policy. But an ossifying government excludes and disenfranchises youth with new ideas. Without popular participation, Afghanistan's future becomes more prone to partisan cleavages and extremism.

    Apr 7, 2014

  • Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah hold posters of him during an election rally in Parwan province, northern Afghanistan, March 20, 2014

    Commentary

    Democracy in Afghanistan: The 2014 Election and Beyond

    Afghanistan's April 5th presidential election is the most important political event in the country's decade-long transition to democracy. A successful election would be a major blow to the Taliban and al Qaida, and would renew Afghan efforts to bring the war to a favorable conclusion. The international community should recognize that Afghanistan deserves support to get through the process.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi and his delegation leave after visiting the Sun Yat-sen mausoleum in Nanjing, Jiangsu province

    Journal Article

    China and Taiwan: Balance of Rivalry with Weapons of Mass Democratization

    An analysis exposes fragility in Beijing's soft power—the limitations of the Chinese Communist Party's political legitimacy and vulnerabilities in China's rise. The example that illustrates a real Achilles's heel hits close to home: the issue of Taiwan.

    Jan 1, 2014

  • a demonstration in downtown Tunis, January 20, 2011

    Report

    Building Democracy on the Ashes of Authoritarianism in the Arab World

    In April, RAND and the International Strategic Research Organization convened a workshop in Istanbul, where policymakers, opinion leaders, and experts from Arab regions explored practical measures countries can adopt to build enduring democratic institutions and practices.

    Jul 29, 2013

  • Malians attending a concert for their upcoming elections

    Commentary

    Remembering What Mali Needs

    Free and fair elections are important, to be sure, but what Mali really needs is a leader who is dedicated to democracy, unity and reform of Mali's politics and institutions, write Stephanie Pezard and Michael Shurkin.

    Jul 26, 2013

  • Call with the Experts

    Multimedia

    Call with the Experts: Egypt in Turmoil

    RAND Egypt expert Jeffrey Martini discusses the latest developments in Egypt and implications for U.S. policy during this Center for Middle East Public Policy conference call.

    Jul 16, 2013

  • stack of Egyptian election ballots

    Report

    Arab Spring Revolutions Have Not Yet Created Democracies, but Democratization Is Possible

    The Arab world is the one region that has been left out of the global trend toward greater embrace of democracy, but a successful shift from authoritarian regimes to democratic governments is possible there.

    Jul 9, 2013

  • Report

    Report

    Democratization in the Arab World: A Summary of Lessons from Around the Globe

    This report is an updated version of the summary section of Democratization in the Arab World: Prospects and Lessons from Around the Globe. It is largely the same as the summary published in 2012, but has been modified somewhat to reflect recent events.

    Jul 9, 2013

  • Multimedia

    Arab Spring: The State of the Democratic Reform in the Middle East

    Jeffrey Martini, Senior Middle East Analyst at the RAND Corporation, discusses the political landscape of the Arab world and how the tumult in the region affects the interests of the United States.

    Jun 24, 2013

  • Election 2005 candidates in a Tehran newspaper

    Blog

    In Iran, a New President, Same Leader

    The Iranian electorate goes to the polls to select a new president this weekend, but no matter who carries the vote Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will continue to call the shots in Tehran, say Alireza Nader and Dalia Dassa Kaye.

    Jun 12, 2013

  • Call with the Experts

    Multimedia

    Media Conference Call on Iran Presidential Election

    RAND Middle East experts Alireza Nader and Dalia Dassa Kaye hosted a news media conference call to discuss the June 2013 Iranian presidential elections, their potential influence on the Middle East, and how the results could affect U.S.-Iran relations. Media Relations Officer Joe Dougherty moderated the call.

    Jun 11, 2013

  • identity checks in the 2009 Iranian election

    Blog

    Previewing the Iranian Election

    The Iranian regime seeks to produce a 2013 election that at least appears to be popular and legitimate; but more importantly, Khamenei desires a president who will act as his prime minister, rather than as an independent power.

    Jun 11, 2013

  • Supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, some wearing green, the color of the party, gather on the streets June 13, 2009, to protest the results of the Iranian presidential election in Tehran, Iran

    Commentary

    Iran's 2013 Presidential Election

    Iran's June 14, 2013 election will take place in the shadow of the turbulent 2009 presidential election, after which Iran witnessed the largest protests since the 1979 revolution. An analysis of the upcoming election considers Khamenei's objectives, the regime's electoral strategy, the competing factions and personalities, and the potential implications for the U.S., especially concerning Iran's nuclear program.

    Jun 5, 2013

  • Anti and pro-Mubarak protesters clash at Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, February 2011

    Multimedia

    Arab Spring

    Middle East analyst Jeffrey Martini discusses the so-called

    May 23, 2013

  • Call with the Experts

    Multimedia

    Media Conference Call on Pakistan Elections

    RAND Pakistan experts Jonah Blank and Seth Jones hosted a news media conference call to discuss the May 2013 Pakistan general elections and their potential effect on U.S.-Pakistan relations. Media Relations Officer Joe Dougherty moderated the call.

    May 6, 2013

  • Egyptians voting at the 2012 presidential elections in Cairo

    Multimedia

    Mapping Egyptian Politics: Where Is Egypt Heading and What Does That Mean for the United States?

    In the March 2013 Congressional Briefing, Jeffrey Martini, a Middle East analyst at RAND, discusses data from Egyptian elections in the post-Mubarak era. After his presentation, he is joined for a panel discussion by Michele Dunn from the Atlantic Council and Samer S. Shehata from Georgetown University.

    Mar 22, 2013

  • Report

    Voting Patterns in Post-Mubarak Egypt

    An analysis of regional voting trends in Egypt—where Islamist parties run strongest, and where non-Islamists are most competitive—indicates that Egypt is headed toward a much more competitive political environment in which Islamists will be increasingly challenged to maintain their electoral edge.

    Mar 22, 2013

  • A man inks his finger after voting in Ciaro, Egypt.

    Blog

    New RAND Study Examines Voting Patterns in Post-Mubarak Egypt

    While much has been written on the electoral strength of Islamists in Egypt, most of the analysis has been done at the national level, ignoring regional divides within the country. A new report identifies the areas where Islamist parties run strongest, and the areas where non-Islamists are most competitive.

    Mar 22, 2013

  • Repairs to the golden domes of Kadhimayn Mosque in 2008

    Commentary

    Iraq Isn't as Fragile as It Looks

    Ten years after the Iraq war started, violence may persist, but the new order survives without U.S. assistance. And it is a lot less fragile than it often appears, says Lowell Schwartz.

    Mar 19, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Notes on a Century: Reflection of a Middle East Historian, by Bernard Lewis with Buntzie Ellis Churchill

    The author reviews Notes on a Century: Reflection of a Middle East Historian by Bernard Lewis with Buntzie Ellis Churchill.

    Mar 14, 2013