Political Reform Movements

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  • Article

    The U.S.–China Rivalry in a New Medieval Age

    Trends like weakening governments and fragmenting societies suggest that the era of industrial superpowers is over and we've entered a new medieval age. The U.S.-China rivalry may have more in common with the fitful conflicts of the 14th century than with the cataclysmic world wars of the 20th.

    Mar 19, 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 Political Reform Movements

  • Globe made of puzzle pieces, photo by dem10/Getty Images

    Report

    Democracy at Risk? Summary of an International Conference on Challenges Facing Democracies

    Motivated by a worldwide decline in democracy, RAND held an international experts' conference on democracy and governance programming in May 2023. This document summarizes the conference's key findings.

    Dec 11, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin during an address in Cathedral Square at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 27, 2023, photo by Sergei Guneev/Sputnik via Reuters

    Commentary

    An Emboldened West Confronts a Weakened Russia

    Russian President Vladimir Putin may remain in office for now, but his power—and Russia's—are ebbing. The West might take advantage of new opportunities.

    Jun 27, 2023

  • Russian police officers stand guard after opposition activists called for street protests against the mobilization of reservists in Moscow, Russia, September 21, 2022, photo by Reuters photographer/Reuters

    Commentary

    To Heal Russia, Exorcise Fear

    In ordering the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ex-KGB cohort in the Kremlin have invited disaster on Russia. For centuries, Russia's secret police have caused the country harm and terrorized its people. Only by easing its deadly grip might Russians gain freedom.

    Mar 2, 2023

  • The U.S. Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C., December 5, 2022, photo by Graeme Sloan/Reuters

    Commentary

    Prospects for Bipartisanship in a Divided Country

    Political polarization affects democracy and discourse about public policy. But a series of workshops with diverse stakeholders discussing sensitive policy issues found that Americans from different demographic, economic, political, professional, and social backgrounds can reach consensus.

    Jan 19, 2023

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    The Racial Wealth Gap, the Effects of Long COVID, Teacher Diversity: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on understanding the racial wealth gap, why long COVID may threaten the U.S. economy, what prevents people of color from becoming and staying teachers, and more.

    Dec 9, 2022

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Protests in China, Negotiating with Russia, L.A.'s 'Mansion Tax': RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on protests in China amid the government's zero-COVID policy, the potential harm in negotiating with Russia, building more affordable housing in Los Angeles, and more.

    Dec 2, 2022

  • People hold white sheets of paper in protest over COVID-19 restrictions in Beijing, China, November 27, 2022, photo by Thomas Peter/Reuters

    Commentary

    Five Factors to Watch as the Chinese Communist Party Faces Protests

    It may be too soon to compare protests against China's zero-COVID policy to the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement. However, looking back to 1989 can still provide valuable insights into what might happen next.

    Nov 30, 2022

  • Protesters chant at a vigil for Mahsa Amini at the entrance hall of the Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, in this screengrab from a social media video released October 26, 2022, photo via Reuters

    Commentary

    The Iran Protests: A Crossroads in Governance?

    Iran has seen large-scale protests in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, who died in the custody of the Iranian morality police in September. But are these protests the spark that will usher in a democratic form of governance in Iran?

    Nov 4, 2022

  • Hong Kong, photo by Lewis Tse Pui Lung/Adobe Stock

    Report

    An Exploratory Examination of Agent-Based Modeling for the Study of Social Movements

    The authors of this report explore the use of agent-based modeling as a method for studying the effects of information and communications technologies on the formation, maintenance, and dissolution of social movements over time.

    Aug 16, 2022

  • April 19th National Cemetery, Seoul, South Korea, November 22, 2008, <a href=

    Commentary

    The Day Before the Revolution

    April 19 is synonymous in Korea with democracy. Mass demonstrations that day in 1960 led to the collapse of the increasingly corrupt Syngman Rhee government. Today, histories of Korea's democratization movement commemorate the April Revolution as the nation's first mass struggle for democracy.

    Apr 26, 2022

  • The Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower and St. Basil's Cathedral seen through an art object in Zaryadye park in Moscow, Russia, March 15, 2022, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Commentary

    If Regime Change Were to Come to Moscow

    Strains in Russia over the war in Ukraine and punishing economic sanctions could spark regime change in Moscow. Although prospects for this are uncertain, the West might be prudent to begin considering how to deal with any new government.

    Mar 18, 2022

  • Cropped rear view of police officer giving ticket to driver. photo by kali9/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Stop, Start, or Continue? A National Survey of the Police About Traffic Stops

    As research continues to show widespread racial disparities of those stopped by police, it is increasingly seen as a practice that, if ended, would serve the cause of social justice. Should the police continue to conduct traffic stops? Police1 conducted a survey of officers to find out what they think.

    Jun 30, 2021

  • A person pays their respects at a mural of George Floyd after the verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Denver, Colorado, April 20, 2021, photo by Kevin Mohatt/Reuters

    Commentary

    Policing in the Post-Floyd Era

    Calls to reform, reimagine, or disband the police can be seen as existential threats. But they present opportunities for progressive change that can work to the advantage of law enforcement.

    Apr 30, 2021

  • A person shows the three-finger. salute in front of a placard with the image of Aung San Suu Kyi during a protest against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, February 15, 2021, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Myanmar's Coup and Its Recent Elections: Institutions Matter

    What was the Myanmar military's calculus in deciding to stage a coup against the civilian-led government? The history of coups and elections provides some insights.

    Feb 15, 2021

  • Myanmar Army armored vehicles drive along a street after they seized power in a coup in Mandalay, Myanmar, February 2, 2021, photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Commentary

    Myanmar Coup: First Foreign Policy Test for President Biden

    Shortly after dawn on February 1, Myanmar's military staged a coup against the nation's fledgling civilian government. There are no easy solutions, and how the Biden administration responds will be widely seen as a template for other thorny situations in the future.

    Feb 9, 2021

  • Violence Following Inauguration

    Multimedia

    The Likelihood of Violence Following the U.S. Presidential Inauguration

    Brian Michael Jenkins, senior adviser to the RAND president, discusses the likelihood of violence that could occur following Inauguration Day in response to election results.

    Jan 15, 2021

  • The port of Beirut and its construction cranes, destroyed by an explosion of ammonium nitrate on August 4, 2020, photo by Karine Pierre/Hans Lucas Pictures/Reuters

    Commentary

    Addressing Lebanon's Ailments, Acute and Chronic

    The recent explosion in Beirut has again led to calls for political and economic reforms in Lebanon. The country has an economy in crisis, corruption, few job opportunities, and an influx of 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Sustained global investment is needed if Lebanon is to recover over the long run.

    Sep 1, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Radicalization, the Gender Pay Gap, Israel-UAE Deal: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the potential for a new era of radicalization, insights into the gender pay gap, why the Israel-UAE deal doesn't merit the hype, and more.

    Aug 21, 2020