Political Reform Movements

  • 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, photo by Scarlet Sappho / CC BY-SA 2.0

    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

  • A member of the Three Percent militia in downtown Stone Mountain, Georgia, where various militia groups stage rallies, August 15, 2020, photo by Dustin Chambers/Reuters

    Commentary

    Could 2020 Spawn '70s-Style Radicalization and Violence?

    The U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic has further cleaved an already deeply divided society. The conditions facing the United States today are reminiscent of those that gave rise to the radicalism of the 1970s and could once again lead to political violence, including terrorism.

    Aug 17, 2020

  • A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy stands watch at Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles, California, October 3, 2012, photo by Jason Redmond/Reuters

    Commentary

    An Uncertain Future for Jail Reform in Los Angeles

    There is momentum in Los Angeles County to do the difficult work of criminal justice reform. This will take considerable investments of time and resources, as well as a commitment to implementing new strategies and evaluating their effectiveness along the way.

    Jul 21, 2020

  • People watch as crews take down the statue to Confederate general Stonewall Jackson in Richmond, Virginia, July 1, 2020, photo by Julia Rendleman/Reuters

    Commentary

    Confederate Statues Symbolize the Role of Racism in America

    Monuments are public art and symbols important to those who hold power. The renewed debate about monuments to historical figures associated with the Confederacy is part of the larger debate about the role of racism in the United States and the treatment of African Americans by institutions.

    Jul 16, 2020

  • Silhouettes of police and other people, photo by wildpixel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Transform Policing

    The killing of George Floyd and other abuses of power have brought about growing calls to alter how we conduct public safety and, more broadly, criminal justice in America. Evidence shows there is substantial room for improvement.

    Jul 9, 2020

  • Demonstrators march during a protest against racial inequality in Brooklyn after the killing of George Floyd, June 16, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Q&A

    Protests and Police Reform: Q&A with RAND Experts

    After the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis and subsequent nationwide protests, the United States is seeing urgent action to reform policing. Here are insights from four RAND researchers who work on policing and community safety issues.

    Jun 18, 2020

  • Seattle Police officer Robert Brown talks with protesters as other officers collect evidence at the CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest) area after a fatal shooting as people occupy space in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Seattle, Washington, U.S. June 29, 2020.

    Multimedia

    Policies to Improve Policing in the U.S.

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, RAND researchers who work on policing and community safety issues share their insights on the recent Black Lives Matter protests and efforts to reform policing. They discuss findings from RAND research, what defunding the police means, and more.

    Jun 15, 2020

  • Officials wearing protective gear take body temperatures at a check point, in Marneuli near Tbilisi, Georgia, March 23, 2020, photo by Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19 Crisis Could Spur Post-Soviet Fixes

    Much of the post-Soviet space remains afflicted with authoritarian rule, inefficient economies, corruption, and regional tensions. The COVID-19 crisis could prod countries to address key issues, but they will need help. Targeted Western aid could help willing countries make progress.

    May 8, 2020

  • Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks during a state funeral of Zimbabwe's longtime ruler Robert Mugabe, Harare, Zimbabwe, September 14, 2019

    Commentary

    'New Zimbabwe' Looks an Awful Lot Like the Old One

    Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa promised a break from Mugabe's repressive rule and economic decline. To help support Zimbabwe's recovery, international actors would be wise to push the government to respect the country's 2013 constitution and push for genuine political, security, and economic reforms.

    Mar 11, 2020