Democracy

Featured

  • 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

  • The word 'war' in the middle of a maze

    Report

    Challenges for Democracies Facing Asymmetric Conflicts

    Contemporary asymmetric warfare poses critical challenges for democracies. Can it be addressed through an overarching strategic framework, or must separate strategies be formulated for each circumstance?

    Aug 12, 2015

  • Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and China's President Xi Jinping meet at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, June 11, 2015

    Commentary

    Aung San Suu Kyi's Trip to China: Sino-Myanmar Relations as the Countdown to the November Elections Begins

    For Aung San Suu Kyi and the rest of the National League for Democracy (NLD) delegation, meeting with Chinese leadership provided a forum for bilateral engagement with one of Myanmar's most important neighbors in the region, relations that will expand given the NLD's likely success at the polls in November.

    Aug 10, 2015

  • A smartphone is used to photograph a Red Shirt rally in Bangkok, Thailand

    Report

    Internet Freedom Software Tools Do Not Facilitate Cybercrime

    Software tools created by the U.S. State Department to encourage the free flow of information online and on mobile phone networks are not likely to be used by criminals to pursue illegal activities. While some have the potential to be used for illicit purposes, there are alternative technologies that are better suited.

    Jun 30, 2015

  • News Release

    Internet Freedom Software Tools Developed by the United States Do Not Facilitate Cybercrime

    Software tools created by the U.S. State Department to encourage the free flow of information online and on mobile phone networks are not likely to be used by criminals to pursue illegal activities. While some have the potential to be used for illicit purposes, there are numerous alternative technologies that are better suited.

    Jun 30, 2015

  • A Malian soldier speaks with Tuareg men in the village of Tashek, outside Timbuktu, July 27, 2013

    Report

    Achieving Peace in Northern Mali

    What will it take to build durable peace in northern Mali? Successes and failures from past peace agreements can inform future efforts. There are also lessons to be gleaned from the stability of Niger, Mali's neighbor.

    May 1, 2015

  • Supporters of Nigerian presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari gesture in front of his election posters in Kano March 27, 2015

    Commentary

    What's at Stake in Nigeria's Elections

    Next to ethnic and religious predilections, security is by far the biggest issue for Nigerians in Saturday's election. For more than 50 years, since Nigeria's independence from British rule, its military has played an important role in peacekeeping across the continent. Paradoxically, the country has struggled with an insurgency within its own borders.

    Mar 27, 2015

  • France's far-right Front National leader Marine Le Pen at a news conference in Nanterre, near Paris, March 22, 2015

    Commentary

    The Front National and the Future of French Foreign Policy

    France's far-right party Front National is ascendant. Its leader could be a strong contender in 2017's presidential elections. Do the Front National's current and, possibly, future successes have implications for France's partners and allies in Europe and beyond?

    Mar 25, 2015

  • A balloonist fires the burners of his hot air balloon during the Tunisian Balloon Festival in Hammamet March 22, 2015

    Commentary

    Tunisia Could Be a Model for What Works in the Mideast

    Tunisia has a shot at showing that a different model in the region can succeed, a model of inclusion, tolerance, and economic prosperity. It has a lot of work ahead of it, but the vision is there.

    Mar 24, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama receives a standing ovation at a joint session of Congress in the chamber of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, September 8, 2011

    Commentary

    Is Geographic Clustering Driving Political Polarization?

    The ideological gap separating the Republican and Democratic parties in Congress has grown dramatically wider in recent decades. An analysis of the presidential vote in congressional districts over the last 60 years finds that the degree to which most districts are different from the “average” district has grown, supporting the theory that polarization stems from geographic clustering.

    Mar 3, 2015

  • The U.S. Capitol Building

    Report

    Is Geographic Clustering of Voters Driving Rising Polarization in Congress?

    Over the last 40 years, the geographic distribution of the American electorate has become more clustered with respect to party voting, college attainment, median family income, and the marriage rate. This is responsible for an estimated 30 percent of the increase in polarization in the House of Representatives over time.

    Feb 17, 2015

  • Georgia's President Georgy Margvelashvili waves while flanked by Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili (2nd L), Parliament speaker David Usupashvili (R) and Patriarch Ilia II during celebrations for the signing of an association agreement with the EU in June 2014

    Commentary

    Rough and Tumble of Building Democracy in Georgia

    Leadership squabbles and instincts for retribution are testing Georgia's democracy. If leaders do not come together to strengthen the political system and governance, Georgia's future could hang in the balance.

    Nov 26, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi hold a press conference after their meeting in Yangon, Myanmar, November 14, 2014

    Commentary

    Myanmar's Slow Path to Democracy

    The U.S. and its allies must act decisively and provide a strong foundation for Myanmar's long-term transformation. A failure to carefully guide the country's transition to a civilian rule would be a missed opportunity for the Obama administration and, more important, for Myanmar's 51 million citizens.

    Nov 17, 2014

  • The flags of China and Hong Kong are seen above tents outside Legislative Council Complex at an occupied area in Hong Kong November 11,2014

    Commentary

    The Mountains Are High and the Emperor Is Far Away

    Since September 22, tens of thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Hong Kong, calling for universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election and the resignation of current Chief Executive Chun-ying Leung. When they took to Twitter to share their ideas and mobilize support, they revealed the profound disconnect that separates elements of Hong Kong society from their mainland counterparts.

    Nov 11, 2014

  • Gail Lopez-Henriquez wears an 'I Voted Today' sticker on Election Day morning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 4, 2014

    Commentary

    Republicans May Make Gains in Midterm Election, but Democrats Remain Strong Nationally

    The Republican Party has a strong chance of maintaining control of the House and possibly even gaining control of the Senate. But survey results suggest that, while individual races may vary, support for Republican candidates nationwide may be less than support for Democratic candidates.

    Nov 4, 2014

  • U.S. residents in line to vote

    Commentary

    Survey Says: House, Senate Races Too Close to Call

    Recent survey data suggests competitions for both houses of Congress are too close to call. While reported probability of voting for a given party has remained constant overall, churn in individual responses indicates some voters are changing their minds.

    Oct 27, 2014

  • U.S. Capitol in autumn

    Commentary

    Voters Give Republicans an Edge in Senate Races, House Too Close to Call

    Significantly more survey respondents anticipate Republicans will take the Senate for their state compared to those who anticipate Democrats will. However, there is not a clear difference in opinion regarding the race for the House.

    Oct 16, 2014

  • A teenage election volunteer helping a senior man use a touch screen

    Commentary

    Midterm Elections Are Less Than a Month Away: What Does the Data Say About Voters?

    Survey responses indicate many U.S. voters already know how they'll cast their ballots in the upcoming midterm elections. But RAND's unique methodology provides an interesting perspective on those who don't lean strongly toward Republican or Democratic candidates.

    Oct 9, 2014

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani

    Commentary

    Afghanistan's Best Bet

    On Sunday, Ashraf Ghani was declared the victor in a contest to determine Afghanistan's next president. The process has been infuriating but the end product of this mess was the best possible outcome: best for Afghanistan, best for the region, and best for the United States.

    Sep 24, 2014

  • Pro-democracy lawmakers protest as Li Fei (on screen), deputy general secretary of the National People's Congress standing committee, speaks during a briefing session in Hong Kong Sept. 1, 2014

    Commentary

    Big Trouble in Little China

    As China's central government and Hong Kong residents consider next steps after last week's decision on the 2017 chief executive election, they will do so against a background of deteriorating trust, declining social acceptance of integration, and a worsening of relations between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese society.

    Sep 9, 2014

  • A convoy of hearses bearing the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 leaves Eindhoven airport in the Netherlands, July 24, 2014

    Commentary

    A Missile's Deadly Message

    Putin's stubbornness on Ukraine has attracted international scorn, threatened Russia's already shaky economy, and focused NATO on countering potential Russian aggression. It's also sparked anti-Russian and pro-NATO sentiments in Central and Eastern Europe. The tragic loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 only intensifies these sentiments.

    Jul 25, 2014