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RAND's research on law, business, and government includes analyses of the criminal and civil justice systems, governments and political systems, international trade and economic development, and the banking and finance sectors. Notable studies have addressed the effects of gun policies in the United States and liability in the age of autonomous vehicles.

  • 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

  • Report

    The Potential Role of Central Bank Digital Currencies in Strategic Competition

    Central bank digital currencies do not pose a security threat to the United States, at least in the short term. China's CBDC faces barriers to internationalization. And emerging CBDC governance is likely to reinforce the existing international financial system rather than undermine it.

    Jan 18, 2024

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  • Capt. Cedric Parker inspects cargo on a C-130J Super Hercules at Yokota Air Base, Japan, February 6, 2023, photo by A1C Brooklyn Golightly/U.S. Air Force

    Report

    Envisioning a New Racial Grievance System for the U.S. Military

    Racial and ethnic bias, harassment, and discrimination threaten the military's ability to meet its mission and create vulnerabilities that adversaries can exploit. How can the racial grievance reporting and redress system be improved to better support minority service members?

    Jan 18, 2024

  • Armed men on the beach with the Galaxy Leader, seized by Yemen's Houthis in November, anchored off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Search for a High Seas Solution

    While Western military action against the Houthis has increased, the Red Sea crisis is sailing through opaque waters. Short-term military action might help with the immediate crisis, but shipping routes will remain vulnerable unless the world recognizes its exposure to threats and cooperates to defend them.

    Jan 17, 2024

  • AI on advanced central processing unit with a judge's gavel, photo by Dragon Claws/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Case for and Against AI Watermarking

    The hype around the concept of AI-output watermarking may be masking very real system challenges. And failure to address watermarking as a systems problem is likely to result in solutions that risk working against the security and trust they seek to instill.

    Jan 17, 2024

  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visits the Territorial Command of the German Armed Forces in Berlin, Germany, February 28, 2023, photo by IMAGO/Florian Gaertner/photothek.de via Reuters

    Commentary

    Germany's New Plans for Transforming Its Defence and Foreign Policy Are Bold. They Are Also Running Into Familiar Problems

    Germany's new defence policy guidelines mark a seismic transformation in German military strategy, away from diplomacy and dialogue, towards defence and deterrence. But as the country seeks to be more assertive on the international stage, there may be resistance at home.

    Jan 17, 2024

  • New Zealand's Prime Minister Chris Luxon at a bilateral meeting at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Sydney, Australia, December 20, 2023, photo by Mick Tsikas/Reuters

    Commentary

    New Zealand's New PM Isn't Going Back to Old Ways on China

    Much is still unknown about the details of the new New Zealand government's foreign and security policy approach, and much remains subject to change. The early indications, however, point to a New Zealand planning to deepen alignment with like-minded partners, not just to address China, but probably in regard to other challenges as well.

    Jan 17, 2024

  • Currency symbols over a digital image of the globe, photo by metamorworks/Getty Images

    Testimony

    Implications of Outbound Investment Controls

    Investments by U.S.-based companies in foreign technology firms based in or owned by strategic competitors are essentially unlimited unless the country is sanctioned. Restricting such investments would have several costs and benefits.

    Jan 17, 2024

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Assessing the Impact of Body-Worn Cameras in U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement

    This brief summarizes findings from a mixed-method analysis of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pilot program of body-worn cameras for personnel assigned to Homeland Security Investigations and Enforcement and Removal Operations.

    Jan 17, 2024

  • Taiwan President-elect Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) holds a press conference following his electoral victory, Taipei, January 13, 2024, photo by Ann Wang/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Taiwan's Voters Defied Beijing—Again

    With a third Democratic Progressive Party presidential victory in Taiwan, relations with China will only get worse. Democratic consolidation could be important in helping the island resist gray-zone coercion by the mainland.

    Jan 15, 2024

  • Artisanal miners work at a cobalt mine-pit in Tulwizembe, Katanga province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, November 25, 2015, photo by Kenny Katombe/Reuters

    Commentary

    Critical Minerals Can Pave the Road to More Robust International Development

    In the developing world, mineral extraction and processing has historically caused not just environmental contamination but also corruption and displacement of local livelihoods. There are opportunities to improve the way companies from the Global North approach critical mineral projects there.

    Jan 12, 2024

  • Josh Eschke works in a lab at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, photo courtesy of Lorain County Community College

    Essay

    Stackable Credentials: Making College Work for More Students

    In some fields, stackable credentials offer a promising strategy for reshaping postsecondary education and training for underserved students. Used effectively, stackable programs can provide low-income students with a path to the middle class.

    Jan 11, 2024

  • Newly recruited Houthi fighters participate in a ceremony at the end of their training in Sanaa, Yemen, January 11, 2024, photo by Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

    Commentary

    What's Behind the Surge in Attacks by Yemen's Houthis

    What can Washington do now to avoid repeating its past mistakes in Yemen and deal with the threat posed by the Houthis?

    Jan 11, 2024

  • Packs of Marlboro cigarettes are displayed for sale at a convenience store in Somerville, Massachusetts, July 17, 2014, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Journal Article

    Doing More with Less: A Proposal to Advance Cigarette Packaging Regulations in the United States

    This commentary works through some of the conceptual, practical, and legal issues regarding cigarette packaging regulations in the United States.

    Jan 11, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Evaluation of the Part D Senior Savings Model: First Year of the Model Test (2021)

    This report presents findings of a mixed-methods evaluation of the first year of the PDSS Model test, across a range of outcomes, including access to insulin, plan enrollment and benefit phases, and costs to beneficiaries, manufacturers, and CMS.

    Jan 11, 2024

  • A senior woman registers a patient at the hospital, photo by andresr/Getty Images

    Testimony

    Reducing Costs and Improving Access to Health Care

    Employers and purchasers of health benefits play a significant role in shaping the U.S. health care system. But the lack of price transparency limits their effectiveness. Access to price data is critical to ensure health plans deliver high-quality care at reasonable costs.

    Jan 11, 2024

  • Early voters brave the remains of Hurricane Zeta as they wait in line at a polling station in Annandale, Virginia, October 29, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    Preparing for Climate Change Risks to the 2024 Elections

    A natural disaster could quickly overwhelm a voting district and render prior planning moot. Officials should plan and practice how they will conduct elections in the wake of a disaster that displaces voters, destroys blank ballots, or damages election equipment.

    Jan 9, 2024

  • A U.S. paratrooper helps a woman and child evacuating from Afghanistan in August 2021, photo by U.S. Central Command Public Affairs

    Essay

    How Gender Diversity Improves Defense Operations

    It's U.S. defense policy to make sure women play a meaningful role in matters of war, peace, and security. This includes embedding women's perspectives in decisionmaking. Real-world examples show the benefits of applying a gender lens to military planning and operations.

    Jan 9, 2024

  • Two people shake hands during a job interview, photo by SunnyVMD/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Resetting the Record: The Facts on Hiring People with Criminal Histories

    Misperceptions may keep employers from hiring people with criminal records. If hiring managers can make evidence-based decisions, it could help ensure that companies get the employees they need, people with criminal records get jobs, and society benefits.

    Jan 9, 2024

  • Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputies walk up to an apartment to carry out an eviction, in Los Angeles, California, January 13, 2021, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    California Just Banned 'Crime-Free' Housing. Here's Why Other States Should Too

    Crime-free housing policies target low-income and minority renters for eviction and violate their civil rights. That's bad enough. But they also fail to reduce crime. At worst, they're a harmful form of discrimination that leads to more crime and homelessness.

    Jan 5, 2024