Political Reform Movements

  • 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

    Traffic stops are the most prevalent way police have contact with the public. As research continues to show widespread racial disparities of those stopped, 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 thought.

    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

  • 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

  • Blog

    Infectious Diseases, Zimbabwe, Students with Disabilities: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the U.S. response to infectious diseases, Zimbabwe after Mugabe, the support for students with disabilities, and more.

    Feb 14, 2020

  • Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa is escorted by a guard of honour as he arrives for Independence Day celebrations in Harare, Zimbabwe, April 18, 2019, photo by Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters

    Commentary

    Little Has Changed in Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

    After decades in power, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was toppled via a military coup in November 2017. His successor Emmerson Mnangagwa promised a break from Mugabe's authoritarian rule and economic mismanagement. After two years in power, to what extent has Mnangagwa delivered on his promises? In short, it's bleak.

    Feb 7, 2020

  • Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, September 25, 2019, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Report

    Has Zimbabwe Changed Since Mugabe's Overthrow?

    After 37 years in power, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was toppled via a military coup in November 2017. His successor and former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, promised a break from authoritarian rule and economic mismanagement. Has he delivered?

    Feb 6, 2020

  • Iraqi demonstrators carry pictures of people who were killed during ongoing anti-government protests in Nassiriya, Iraq, December 4, 2019, photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

    Commentary

    Iraq at the Crossroads

    The protests gripping Iraq pose an extraordinary challenge to Baghdad's political leadership, which must move the country ahead or step aside. Unless it finds the will to compromise for the common good, the governing class could risk thrusting the country into civil war.

    Dec 18, 2019

  • People walk near a burned bank, after protests against increased fuel prices, in Tehran, Iran, November 20, 2019, photo by Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Reuters

    Commentary

    Don't Expect a Thaw in Iran

    Iran's recent protests could mark the beginning of a new chapter in Iran's domestic politics. Whatever happens inside the country, though, it will not likely change Iran's foreign policy.

    Dec 11, 2019